Clemson received great news yesterday when quarterback Tajh Boyd announced he would be returning for another year with the Tigers. While not completely unexpected, Clemson won’t be as lucky two times in a row.
The Tigers’ leading receiver in 2012, DeAndre Hopkins, said that he will be foregoing another year in college and turn his attention to the upcoming NFL Draft. Hopkins made the announcement via his Twitter account and explained his decision in a statement:
“It’s tough to leave because this is my home, this is the place I wanted to play since I came out of the womb. But, I feel it’s best for me and my family to take my talents to the NFL at this time.
“I have to thank the Clemson alumni, the fans, the coaches and my teammates for all the support they have given me through the good times and the bad. No matter what I will always be a Clemson Tiger.”
Hopkins had 1,405 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns this past year, including a 13-grab, 191-yard performance with two touchdowns in a thrilling Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU. He departs the program holding 14 receiving records, over 3,000 yards receiving and 27 touchdowns.
“Nuk was a big reason we won 11 games and reached a final No. 10 national ranking,” coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. “We have had many talks and he feels it is the best thing for he and his family. I fully support him in his decision.
“He will make an outstanding professional. He has the best hands and ability to catch the ball in traffic I have seen in a long time. He has done a lot for this program and we wish him much success at the next level. We all look forward to following his progress.”
The departure will be noticed, certainly, but Clemson has a number of offensive weapons coming back in 2013, including another receiver by the name of Sammy Watkins.