Hopkins said on Twitter on Thursday that while he enjoyed his time with the Tigers, he is ready for the next level. Clemson athletics spokesman Tim Bourret confirmed that Hopkins is making himself eligible for the NFL Draft in April.
“It is tough to leave because this is my home, this is the place I wanted to play since I came out of the womb,” Hopkins said in statement from the school. “But, I feel it is best for me and my family to take my talents to NFL at this time.”
Hopkins had been a solid performer his first two seasons, but broke out in a big way this past fall with a school record 1,405 yards receiving on 82 catches. His 18 touchdowns were an Atlantic Coast Conference record.
He closed his college career in impressive fashion with 13 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over Louisiana State. Hopkins made a sliding, 26-yard catch on fourth-and-16 to keep the Tigers game-winning drive alive in the 25-24 win.
Hopkins’ play this season has him going in the late first-round in several NFL mock drafts, projections apparently too good for him to pass up.
GEORGIA: Another defensive player is heading to the NFL.
Junior nose tackle Kwame Geathers informed the school that he plans to enter the draft with a year of eligibility remaining.
The 6-foot-6, 355-pound Geathers follows linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree in declaring early for the pros.
This past season, Geathers played in all 14 games and finished with 40 tackles, including five for losses.
OKLAHOMA STATE: Bill Young stepped down after four seasons as defensive coordinator, meaning the Cowboys will have two new coordinators next season.
Coach Mike Gundy said Young will be replaced by linebackers coach Glenn Spencer. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken left to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi and he has not yet been replaced.
Young’s defenses created 108 takeaways, 17 more than any other team. But Oklahoma State couldn’t keep up that pace after the best season in school history, falling off to an 8-5 finish.
• All-Big 12 running back Joseph Randle plans to skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.
MIAMI: Mario Cristobal is returning to the Hurricanes.
The school said that Cristobal was hired on as the Hurricanes’ associate head coach and tight ends coach. It’s Cristobal’s fourth stint at Miami: He played for two national-championship teams there between 1988 and 1992, was a graduate assistant from 1998 through 2000 and then returned as an assistant coach from 2004 through 2006.
Cristobal spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Florida International.