Everyone that follows college football and recruiting knows that Texas is one of the best states at producing D-1 talent.
In 2010, things will look to stay the same with yet another outstanding class of Texans going on to play college football.
Of those young Texans moving on to play college ball is running back Stephen Hopkins of Texas class 5-A Marcus High School in Flower Mound.
Over the past several months, Hopkins has made numerous visits to schools such as Alabama, Texas A&M, Nebraska, TCU, UCONN, Baylor, and Texas.
However, none came close to how his visit went when he attended the Michigan spring game just a few weeks ago.
It went so well it resulted in his commitment even before the game was over.
With Michigan running the spread, there were questions as to why he would commit or why Michigan would want him.
But really, he couldn't be any more of a perfect fit, especially after seeing Minor work his magic in this offense last year.
Standing in at 6' and 220 lbs, Hopkins is considered to be a "big" back.
But what is special about this power back from Texas is the deceptive speed that he possesses.
Just ask the Texas teams he played during this past season how talented this kid really is.
Here is a look at his stats from his junior campaign:
|at Plano West||30||170||2||5.7|
|vs. Keller Fossil Ridge||25||208||3||8.3|
|at Tyler Lee||34||118||0||3.5|
|vs. Southlake Carroll||23||311||4||13.5|
|vs. Flower Mound||29||202||3||7.0|
|vs. Euless Trinity||12||51||0||4.3|
Notice Southlake Carroll is in bold?
The reason for this is because Southlake is not only a perennial power in the state of Texas, but they are also a common name in the national top 25.
Yet Hopkins made their defense, which had only allowed four other 100 yard rushers all season, look like a JV team...in junior high.
Of his four touchdowns vs Southlake, he scored on a run from one yard out as well as three other runs of 58, 71, and 64.
What is more impressive in my eyes is the distinct similarities to former Ohio State running back and Heisman candidate, Chris "Beanie" Wells.
We all know Wells was the No. 1 running back his senior year of high school. While Hopkins most likely won't get anywhere close to the top spot, that doesn't mean Hopkins can't reach the level of productivity that Wells did while at OSU.
From a physical standpoint, they are identical:
Wells as a senior was 6'1" 220 lbs with a 4.5 range 40 yard dash.
Hopkins as a junior is 6' 220 lbs with another year to grow more.
Hopkins is listed with a 4.5-4.6 range 40 yard dash.
From a playing standpoint, both are...once again...very similar.
For one, neither shy away from contact or like to step out of bounds.
Hopkins is a kid that likes to move to the middle of the field when he is near the sideline to avoid being knocked out.
Wells is the same.
Hopkins is a guy that can just plow through you, but if you give him the lane—he will also blow right past you.
Wells...once more...is the same.
Both have very similar running styles as well.
They have exceptional cutback ability, elusiveness for guys of their size, and are very deceptive runners that can cause chaos for opposing defenses.
If their physical similarities aren't enough or their playing style isn't enough, then just look at Hopkins' high school jersey.
Coincidence? I think not...
Am I saying Hopkins will be as good as Wells?
No, I am not.
Am I saying that Hopkins could be as good as Wells?
Possibly, only time will tell.
My main focus is just bringing forth the comparisons of these two fine athletes.
Make your own conclusion on this, here are both players' highlight films:
Here is Hopkins junior highlights (From 1:49-2:30 is the Southlake Carroll highlights)
Here is "Beanie" Wells senior highlights