ARIZONA CARDINALS

DeAndre Hopkins had 28 INTs, 5 return TDs on defense in high school

Oct 28, 2020, 6:45 AM
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) pulls in a touchdown pass during the first hal...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) pulls in a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

It’s fun to look at the high school stats for star athletes.

Check out Tennesee Titans running back Derrick Henry’s.

See? Pretty fun!

As it turns out, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has his own crazy numbers, but on the other side of the field.

He ran through the beginning of his football journey on teammate Patrick Peterson’s podcast All Things Covered.

Hopkins had a state record 28 interceptions as a defensive back in South Carolina at D.W. Daniel High School, with five return touchdowns as well.

A two-sport athlete who was primarily focused on basketball, Hopkins came onto the school’s football team and didn’t know much.

“Kinda helped me become that ball-knacking kind of guy,” he said. “I was a basketball player and they were telling me, ‘7-on-7 is good for you.’

“I always thought I wanted to play quarterback and they were like, ‘You’re long, you can catch real good, you got big hands, so let’s see what you do in this 7-on-7.’ Before I stepped on the field and played, I was catching interceptions in 7-on-7 and I was like, ‘This is a good position right here.’

“My first high school game against the number one team in the state, I caught three interceptions.”

The funny part of the story is that Hopkins didn’t understand how rare it was getting three in a game, so he was confused when he was asked to appear on local television.

“After the game the following week, the local news like, ‘We want to interview you,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘Y’all want to interview me? For what?'”

Picking off passes was so easy for Hopkins that he must have thought, “What? This? That’s a serious accomplishment?”

Hopkins said he didn’t even know until college that 28 interceptions was a lot for a high school career, and that’s a record he holds in a state that’s produced All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore, Pro Bowl cornerback Jonathan Joseph and other NFL defensive backs.

Hopkins went to Clemson to play both basketball and football, and because the Tigers were low at receiver and Hopkins had good hands, the coaching staff decided to move him to wideout full time after initially slotting him at defensive back.

Good decision!

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DeAndre Hopkins had 28 INTs, 5 return TDs on defense in high school