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Westlake Junior Strives for Gridiron Glory

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Westlake High School junior Tommy Hopkins always had size and athletic ability growing up, but it wasn’t until recently that he and his family realized that the combination could bring his talents to the next level on the football field.

“He was always tall and thin,” said Kevin Hopkins, Tommy’s father.  “He actually had a lot of success in basketball growing up so we thought he would be tracking towards that but then he started to bulk up once he got to high school and we realized his body was more towards football.”

Hopkins, listed at a towering 6 feet 6 inches tall and 282 pounds, is one of the top offensive tackle recruits in the nation.  After successful sophomore and junior seasons at Westlake, major Division 1 college football schools such as Wisconsin, Penn State, Boston College and Notre Dame have all expressed interest in signing Hopkins to a commitment.  Just last weekend, Hopkins traveled to San Antonio to participate in the U.S. Army National Combine, a selective premiere showcase event for high school football.  Out of the 500 players that were invited to participate, Hopkins was one of only six from New York.

The Hawthorne native said the event was a great way to show his talent against some of the best in the country and that he humbly realizes he cannot stay complacent.

“It was really fun going up against other top players,” Hopkins said.  “I just have to keep working hard, getting stronger, quicker and bigger and if I keep doing that I should be fine.”

In fact, a major factor in helping Hopkins develop on the football field is basketball.  He is currently a center on Westlake’s varsity team and says that many aspects on the hardwood help him on the gridiron.

“In basketball, the footwork and quickness that we work on really carries over to the offensive line in football and being able to stop some of those quick defensive ends,” Hopkins said.

Off the playing surface, Hopkins also stars in the classroom.  He currently boasts a 3.7 GPA and was named to the National Honor Society earlier this month and the Spanish National Honor Society in December.  In searching for a college, Hopkins said education is just as big of a concern for him as athletics

“I want to go to a school that has both good academics and also a good football program in a major conference,” Hopkins said.

As of this point, Hopkins has not received any scholarship offers but anticipates them to start coming this spring.  He said he hopes to commit to a school at some point during the summer in order to not allow the recruiting process to interfere with his senior season at Westlake.

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