At the beginning of the year, I mentioned a name to look out for was Will Hopkins. The transfer TE from Texas was making a lot of strides at offensive tackle. His technique was great and his tenacity and strength are what Coach Woods is looking for in linemen. It also doesn’t hurt that he is 6’7″ tall. The problem was that the career defensive end and tight end has difficulty keeping up the weight required for offensive tackle. Will was exceedingly disciplined in his diet and workouts and was getting north of 285 pounds before getting sick and losing a lot of weight.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, life doesn’t wait for you to be totally ready before asking you to step up and with the injury to Sean Harlow against Colorado, honor role student-athlete Will Hopkins was asked to take the field. Fortunately for Beaver nation, even with the remnants of his illness still lingering, Will was ready.
When I reviewed the offensive line for the Colorado game, I paid special attention to number 60 on the field. His first play, against a decent defensive end, he stoned him on the line in a pass play and covered the speed rusher up with his feet while dominating him with his hands. It was a good start to say the least. In his fifth snap, the still slightly undersized Hopkins used his quickness to work up to the second level and seal off the defender allowing Ryan Nall to get a few extra yards on the run. In his sixth play, he showed his tenacity, strength and technique to drive his defender four yards downfield on another solid run play.
Against future NFL players in the Utah game, Hopkins held his own, making plays on the edge that helped quarterback Nick Mitchell rush for 40 yards on runs to the outside. He also was part of an offensive line unit that gave up one sack all game. Hopkins is still young, and a bit undersized, but his effort, his attention to detail and understanding of what OSU is going to do, as well as a nasty streak that belies his otherwise happy demeanor, will make Will Hopkins a fixture on our offensive line for the rest of his career at OSU. Another year with Coach Simon and I would not be shocked if we end up seeing ’60’ get some serious consideration when all conference awards are dolled out next year.
This week, against UCLA, be sure to take the time to watch 60 for a few plays. You won’t be disappointed!
Go Beavs (PRO)