Ball-hawking skills, toughness make Nuk Hopkins a big catch for Texans

OC Rick Dennison: 'With his skill set, he does what we do...It's not a matter of developing anything new'

DeAndre Hopkins scores a touchdown against Ball State

Photo by Mark Crammer

DeAndre Hopkins scores a touchdown against Ball State

DeAndre Hopkins believes any football in the air belongs to him.

As the Upstate's high school quarterbacks well-remember.

During his prep career at Daniel High, Hopkins was a pass-catching machine - on both sides of the ball - en route to twice earning Independent Mail player of the year honors.

He was a particular terror on defense, as he picked off 28 passes during his career and racked up 555 yards and five touchdowns in returns.

During the recruiting process, many schools targeted Hopkins as a defensive back. But not Clemson. Wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said he made it clear to his coaching colleagues - Hopkins was playing on offense.

"Whenever the ball's in the air, I feel like it's mine, wherever it is," Hopkins said Friday during his introduction to Houston's media on Friday. "I'm going to come in and compete for a spot and be the best wide receiver I can be."

Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has no doubt.

"With his skill set, he does what we do," said Dennison. "He competes for the ball and he's very physical, which is what we demand of our wide receivers.

"It's not a matter of developing anything new. It's just a matter of getting him here, letting him compete and go from there."

"I bring a championship mentality," said Hopkins. "This team has a great quarterback, a great running back, and great wide receivers. I just have to come in and do my job.

"I've got a great cast around me to help me grow as a rookie."

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