Player to Watch: Tommy Hopkins, Westlake
Follow football in the Hudson Valley on Twitter: @MSGVarsityKDJ
The future for Tommy Hopkins has already been mapped out. Now the Westlake senior can concentrate on the present.
Hopkins is the first, and maybe the only, Section 1 football player from the Class of 2013 headed to the Division I level. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound all-state lineman has committed to play for the University of Connecticut.
College can wait, though, for Hopkins. He’s focused on paving the way for the Wildcats to make a run at a Section 1 Class B championship this fall.
“We return almost everyone on both sides of the ball,” Hopkins said. “For all these seniors, this is our last chance. We’ve got to bring everything we have.”
Hopkins will be leading the charge as a punishing blocker and a relentless pass-rusher.
A fourth-year starter, Hopkins has been a major Division I recruit since his sophomore season when he helped Westlake reach the sectional title game. He received his first scholarship offer in the spring from Bucknell, and had heavy interest from Syracuse, Rutgers, Penn State, Boston College and Virginia.
But once UConn — which has long been his first choice — made its offer in April, Hopkins didn’t need any more time to decide.
“I really liked everything about (UConn),” Hopkins said. “I liked the campus, the coaches; I’ve heard great things about coach (Paul) Pasqualoni. I thought that it would be best for me.”
Hopkins certainly made the rounds during his recruiting, attending countless camps and combines the last two summers. He’s currently ranked high among the region’s top offensive lineman by several recruiting services.
“Once I went to the camps and they got my film, they knew who I was,” Hopkins said. “After that, it was all up to me to perform and to work hard.”
Hopkins’ prowess in football overshadows his talents in basketball where he’s rugged but agile post presence.
Last season, he emerged as one of Class B’s top post players, averaging 12.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.
Visit MSGVarsity.com each weekday this summer as we unveil the next athlete on our Players to Watch list. Click here for the complete list.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org