Today we have a player that had a bit of a breakout season in 2016 as a redshirt freshman. He was a pleasant surprise at tight end and he brings excellent size to present matchup problems in the new Jeff Brohm offense.
Brycen Hopkins – So.
Nashville, TN (Ensworth HS)
6’5”, 245 pounds
2017 Projection: Starter at Tight End
While Purdue does not return much experience at receiver, it has a pair of tight ends that any school would envy. Among all returning receivers Hopkins lead the team with four touchdowns last season, and that was second only to the 10 DeAngelo Yancey scored. Overall, Hopkins caught 10 passes for 183 yards, but four of those 10 were touchdowns.
The first catch of his career was a 51 yard touchdown pass against Nevada that sealed the 24-14 win. Against Iowa in the game that got Hazell fired he finished with three receptions for 80 of his 183 yards and two touchdowns. His fourth TD reception gave Purdue a halftime lead at Minnesota after a long interception return by Antonio Blackmon.
Much of the time Hopkins is a blocking TE, but he has shown that he can run routes well and he has pretty good hands. His second TD against Iowa was a juggling tipped pass that he managed to bat away from two defenders to himself for the score. He gives Jeff Brohm an interesting weapon to use in multiple formations, and his size means he could be a nightmare for opposing teams on the goal line.