Senior Football Standout Represents School At All-American Game
November 14, 2018
At the beginning of his senior year, linebacker Xavier Hopkins made a list. The list started with raising his GPA. It rose within the first semester. He needed to score a 21 on his ACT. He earned that in June. He wanted to lead the team in tackles. He tallied a total of 93 tackles this past season. At the end of his numbered list was being selected to play in the All-American Blue-Grey game. In November, Hopkins received his invitation.
“This has always been a dream of mine,” Hopkins said. “I wasn’t sure it would happen until I got home and opened the letter.”
Practice then play, the two things Hopkins has done since he discovered his love for the game. From the time he received his first football at four years old to watching his first Blue-Grey shortly after that, Hopkins has had one dream, to go all the way.
Playing pee-wee, middle school and high school ball led Hopkins to an All-American tryout with the Blue and Grey committee in early May this year. Hopkins showcased the work he had put in during five to six day a week training sessions and his natural talent as a linebacker.
“Xavier worked very hard at combines and putting in work over the past few summers,” Hopkins coach, Ronnie Watson said. “He has improved tremendously in his knowledge and skills. Xavier’s motivation in becoming the best he can be at his craft has paid off.”
Six months after his tryout in Nashville, Hopkins received an invitation letter that informed him he was one of the 66 players selected out of the 6,750 in attendance at regional tryouts. The only All-American selected in the area. The first All-American in school history.
“This gives me an extra opportunity to show my talent to the world,” Hopkins said. “I just want to prove anything can happen in Harvest, Alabama.”
On Jan. 14, 2019, Hopkins will be playing with America’s best in Houston, Texas at the Houston Texans’ NRG Stadium on Team 49. The game will be aired live at 1:30 pm on ESPN3.
Now that his body has taken a short break from the weekly beatings against offensive linemen during regular season games, Hopkins begins training later this week for the moment he has wanted since we learned the meaning behind the x’s and o’s.
“I really want the whole school to be apart of this. It is all about the support system,” Hopkins said. “The people that have been watching me for the last four years or even since I was four years old, I want all of them to be a part of this.”
As a representative of not only the school but the entirety of North Alabama, Hopkins is asking the community to take pride in his opportunity and support him in his journey to what he one-day hopes will end in drafting into the NFL.
Hopkins is seeking sponsorship to assist with the remaining $1,922 balance to offset hotel accommodations, uniform and helmet purchases, media dinner costs, NFL Stadium sharing dues and his own Blue-Grey All American ring- Super Bowl-sized. (sponsorship details can be found below).
“I want everyone around here to be able to watch and say they helped me get here,” Hopkins said. “At the end of the day it is the coaching, fans and support that pushed me this far and I owe it to them to be the best I can.”