(We'll resume the Warp Speed preview tomorrow - it turns out there are only four parts.)
I wasn't expecting to do any Show Me Something posts this year because the people I most want to show me something are coaches. (More on that tomorrow.) But one player I'm suddenly very interested in seeing came to the forefront earlier this week.
To give you an idea how seriously I took Derrick Hopkins getting meaningful playing time this year, I didn't even include him in my wide receiver preview. I just didn't see it happening. When the game-week depth chart came out on Monday afternoon, though, Hopkins was one of the three starting wide receivers.
I'm sorry... but I still don't see it yet. I know Skip Holtz talked about Derrick's speed during Tuesday's press conference (Hopkins won two Big East indoor track titles in 2011) and talked about how his hands have improved. But there are only so many ways you can use a 5-foot-5, 160-pound player on a football field. Hopkins isn't just the smallest player on this team -- he's the smallest football player in USF history. He'd have some trouble blocking, he can't outjump most defensive backs, and you certainly wouldn't want to expose him to a constant pounding over the middle.
Not to mention, Terrence Mitchell is also listed as a first-string receiver. The uses for Mitchell (5'10", 164 lbs.) and Hopkins are pretty similar -- get them the ball on the run, have them work the underneath patterns in the gaps of the defense, or get them out in open space with blockers in front of them. If one was backing up the other, it would make a lot more sense to me. Putting both of them on the field at the same time would be strange.
This could all be a bluff. Maybe we see Andre Davis and Sterling Griffin out there along with Mitchell. Maybe Hopkins really does become Mitchell's backup, and they take turns working the short seams and running some jet sweeps. Maybe they play four-wide more and both of the little guys are on the field. Whatever ends up happening, I'm going to be really interested to see how Derrick Hopkins is used and if he can make an impact.