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Old 09-21-2013   #711
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Default Re: 1st Round- DeAndre Hopkins WR Texans

Greatest expectations are those carried by Texans' Hopkins

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They knew and believed. They just never thought it would happen this fast.

Tommy Plumblee's first lasting memory of DeAndre Hopkins: The Texans rookie wide receiver is a quiet, skinny 10th-grader at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, S.C. Yet Hopkins is already rare and unique - a deep thinker with a wondering young mind matched only by oversized hands.

"People around the country are getting to see what we got to see on Friday nights," said Plumblee, a former Lions defensive coach and now the school's athletic director.

For the next two years, Jeff Scott heard about the Friday nights. But there was an even better Hopkins profile: a basketball artist who doubled as a defensive back/wide receiver and played just down the road from Clemson University.

"He was already a legend," said Scott, the Tigers' wide receivers coach.

After triple-extra large hands pulled down a 3-yard fade pass from quarterback Matt Schaub for a game-winning touchdown Sunday in the Texans' 30-24 overtime victory over the Titans at Reliant Stadium, Hopkins' 21-year-old name began to ring out in the NFL.

The same traits that awed his high school and college coaches - a highly athletic but graceful and contortable body; a small-town, down-home personality, rooted in familial pride and tragedy; a brain that never stops exploring and a work ethic to match - have become the foundation for looped highlight reels on "Monday Night Football," "SportsCenter" and the NFL Network.

The No. 27 overall pick of the 2013 draft has overcome a preseason concussion and the all-eyes-on-me pressure of lining up next to veteran wideout Andre Johnson, a likely Hall of Famer. After collecting a game-high 117 yards on seven receptions in just his second pro contest, Hopkins declared he can be better than Johnson - and he modestly and respectfully made the words make sense.

"We nicknamed him 'Superman' for a reason," said Randy Robinson, D.W. Daniel's football coach. "The joke around our coaching staff was he just had to go into the phone booth for the Texans."

Visionary on hardwood

The Lions didn't know who Hopkins was supposed to be when he arrived at D.W. Daniel.

Hopkins' first sports home was the hardwood. His long hands were built to dominate a basketball...
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