Now entering his fifth NFL season, 24-year-old DeAndre Hopkins is aready a seasoned veteran, but he's already thinking of ways to help the next class of young wide receivers.
"I've been a leader with the wide receiver group for two years now, three years," Hopkins said Wednesday. "I've kind of been vocal but I like to lead by example. Go out there and make plays. But when there's things that we need to work on of course we're going to work on them."
Even as a rookie, Hopkins had confidence in his ability to make catches against the NFL's top defenders. However, the Texans 2013 first-round draft selection learned even more from watching the Texans leading receiver in franchise history, Andre Johnson, during his first two seasons in the league.
"It changed for me when I saw Andre going out there, a guy that's kind of later in his career, doesn't necessarily have the physical skillset that a young guy like me has, but he's getting open every play," Hopkins said April 25 on Texans Radio. "He's still getting the separation that somebody that's faster than him wouldn't get, you know? So I was like, man what is he doing that I need to work on? Basically, it's not about just going out there and telling the quarterback to get you the ball. It's little things that go with the timing, knowing the whole play, the concept of everything, and just the little things that go into getting open, not just throwing the football up."
This offseason, Hopkins headed to Hermosa Beach, California for his workouts, some of which he even posted on social media. The Pro Bowler hopes that he can teach young receivers the way that Johnson helped him.
"Sammy Watkins, myself, and some more receivers in the league, I want us to all get together and do a camp for young receivers, no charge," Hopkins said. "Guys that want to become like us one day, just giving them tips and helping them out on how to become like us or better."
WR DeAndre Hopkins--from Clemson to the Texans--is featured here in photos.