A player expected to help try to replace the production lost with the departures of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant will have to wait until summer camp to show just what he may be capable of.
Head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed following practice Monday that Germone Hopper will not participate in the remainder of the spring practice sessions so as to get his academic house in order. Swinney’s revelation comes as the Tigers are shutting down spring practice for the time being as spring break at the school commences.
“He’s a good young man, talented, but not very focused or committed to doing what he needs to do academically,” Swinney said. “So I’m giving him some time to go focus at Vickery Hall (student-athlete academic center). That’s what he’s going to be working on these next few weeks.”
Hopper’s 23 receptions a year ago are the second-most for any returning receiver. This is the second time in a little over five months Hopper has found himself in Swinney’s doghouse. In mid-October of last year, Hopper was one of two players hit with a one-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules.
The Tigers must find a way to replace the 143 receptions, 2,292 yards and 19 touchdowns produced by the Watkins/Bryant tandem in 2013, in addition to replacing four-year starting quarterback Tajh Boyd.