Clemson Tigers fans had to know it would be tough to get both back next season.
I’m talking, of course, about the star pass-catch duo of quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Yesterday Clemson fans were elated to hear that Boyd would be returning for his final senior season.
Then things went south today as Hopkins confirmed reports that he would forgo his last season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft instead.
This is a huge blow for the Tigers, especially when you look at his production. Hopkins had a record setting season this year for Clemson, finishing the year with 82 receptions, 1,408 yards receiving and 18 touchdown receptions.
I think it’s a solid move for Hopkins, as I very seriously doubt he’d have even come close to matching those numbers next year. You have to realize, most of Hopkins production came in the first half of the season, when fellow star wideout Sammy Watkins was out. When Watkins came back full time, Hopkins was relatively quiet, at least by his standards. His best game of the year came in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (13 grabs for 191 yards and 2 scores), when Watkins was out again.
The 6’1” 200lb Hopkins is considered by most to be a late first- early second round selection at this point. Obviously all of that could change with the combine and his pro day. If Hopkins runs in the low 4.4’s he could potentially go in the top half of round one. If he runs in the 4.6’s, he’ll easily slip into the second round.
It would have been interesting to see one more year of Boyd-Hopkins-Watkins. Clemson seemingly gets better each year, and next year’s offense could have been one of the best in the country with the three.
Now we’ll just have to see how they do minus Hopkins.