If Brycen Hopkins needs any help in how to deal with the pressures of being a top draft prospect, he only needs to turn to his family for advice. Hopkins’s father, Brad Hopkins, was a first-round selection by the Houston Oilers in the 1993 NFL Draft. Hopkins Sr. played 13 seasons in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl nods as well as an All-Pro berth in 2000. The younger Hopkins has not followed in his dad’s footsteps by manning the offensive line, however. Hopkins has earned his acclaim as a tight end, and one of the best in the country heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Despite coming from a family with an NFL pedigree, Hopkins initially seemed to be more focused on basketball as a youngster. He didn’t start playing football at The Ensworth School until his junior year. 247 Sports had him as a two-star prospect as the 73rd ranked TE prospect in the 2015 recruiting class. Hopkins received offers from Jacksonville State, Mercer, and Florida. But he eventually committed to Purdue.