Over the last few years, Stanford has been the Mecca for collegiate tight ends as Konrad Reuland, Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo have all left the Farm to play in the NFL. That’s what makes former defensive end Charlie Hopkins rise to become one of the two starting tight end’s for the Cardinal so surprising.
“I recently switched to tight end because I saw an opportunity to play. I know there has been a lot of success at the tight end position and I hope to continue that success”, explained Hopkins.
Although Hopkins was a top 15 defensive end coming out of high school, he had not yet seen any game action for the Cardinal. The 6’6 260 pound Hopkins had all the measurable’s to become a defensive stalwart but as we know sometimes things don’t work out for players. However, it seems as though Hopkins switch to tight end has worked out for the best.
“I had to learn all the basics and move up from there. Learning the right techniques in blocking and catching,” said Hopkins.
Stanford are expected to run the power run system once again this year, so Hopkins will primarily be used as an extra blocker for Tyler Gaffney and company. Hopkins looked good against the hybrid defense of San Jose State. Spartans linebackers Eugene Taylor and Sean Bacon were mostly held at bay on Saturday because of the effective blocking by the Cardinal offense.
“I am facing two of the best outside linebackers in the country every day in practice, so they are preparing me really well for games this season,” proclaimed Hopkins.
While most college football teams are converting to fancy offensive schemes, Stanford has reverted back to an old school smash mouth power run scheme. Hopkins can play a big part in bringing the nastiness of a defensive lineman to the Stanford offense.
“I try to bring that attitude that coach Hart (Stanford Defensive Line Coach) taught me to the tight end position every day. I just want to go out there and just smack guys in the mouth,” exclaimed Hopkins.
Hopkins will play an integral part of Stanford’s road to the BCS championship. If Hopkins can bring that defensive tenacity to Stanford’s power run game, expect big things in Hopkins future.