Off to a 5-0 start to the 2007 season, the Highland Springs Springers are ranked #1 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Top 10 Poll heading into tonight’s contest versus Armstrong. Virginia Tech commit Antoine Hopkins , a senior defensive lineman/offensive guard, has helped lead the way on both sides of the ball for head coach Scott Burton.
Hopkins has played particularly well on defense, the side of the ball he is projected to play at Virginia Tech.
“Antoine has been playing really well,” Burton said. “He has played inside and outside on the defensive line. He is probably playing a little bit better internally, which is where I think he’ll spend most of his time in Blacksburg. He could play on the edge there as well.”
Hopkins has shown excellent improvement in each of the past three seasons on the varsity level.
“He has played fast,” Burton said. “He understands our scheme. He has been making the plays that show up on the stat sheet, but he has been making other plays that don’t show up. In the past, he has been really good at individual plays but not always great in the overall team scheme of things. He is doing a lot more of that this year.”
After playing last season at 6-2, 260 pounds, Hopkins is playing at 280 pounds this season. The added weight has certainly not hurt Hopkins’ ability.
“We try to run a really thorough and difficult offseason program,” Burton said. “He gained a lot of weight this offseason. Initially we were a bit concerned, but then we took a step back and realized he was just doing what he was told. And he has not lost any explosive ability. He is a big kid with fast movement, and that’s all you want.”
Hopkins isn’t the only senior stepping up his play this season. 6-3, 185-pound quarterback Matt Hurdle has also turned in an excellent performance. On the season, the lefty signal-caller has completed 67-percent of his passes for 980 yards and 14 touchdowns. Hurdle has thrown zero interceptions.
Hurdle’s production has drawn interest from major college programs.
“Matt has gotten some interest here from ACC schools,” Burton said. “Some people have come to see him play in person and some more have asked for film. The progress he has made from last year to this year is astonishing. The elbow injury he had last year prevented him...
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