Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is known for his standout play on the gridiron. His game-changing plays and ability to contort his body to catch the ball are unmatched by anyone else in the NFL. But his skills aren’t the only thing that shine — his style is just as unique. Walking into the stadium in today’s world is like stepping foot on a runway, and Hopkins is definitely someone who turns heads on game day.
What makes his style stand out? He dares to be different. “My style represents who I am as an athlete, because it’s different. My style of play on the field is different,” Hopkins explained. “It’s not the usual wide receiver style of play, so that’s how it is off the field as well.”
This confidence and unique style choice started at a young age for Hopkins: “I had older siblings and wanted to dress different than them and the other people at school. We all want to be different. I knew how I wanted to dress — not like everybody else.”
Let’s take a look at how Hopkins’ unique style developed, throwing it all the way back to his middle school years.
“I wore kind of what everybody wore. Definitely baggy tees! But I would also say I threw in some scarves here and there when I got to eighth grade. At that time I could go to the store and pick out what I wanted and not have my mom dressing me. Even when the weather was hot, I still put the scarf game to use.”
“Going into high school, my style definitely changed. I started working a little bit, making a little bit of money, wearing what I wanted to wear. It was a big jump. It was more skinny — skinny pants, more fitted clothing. Then there was also color. I wore brighter things that I had in middle school.”
“The transition from high school to college was different as well. When I was actually playing, and could make a little money, my style changed a lot. We had a card to a store at the mall that they gave everybody on a scholarship, and I would try to be the first person to go there, before all the other players on the team that had scholarships. All the good stuff would be gone if it was too late! I was still wearing more fitted clothes with some color, but not as colorful as high school.”
“Now, I wouldn’t really put a finger on my style. It’s who I am because I change all the time and my mindset changes on what I like. My style is in constant flux.”
It’s clear from early on that Hopkins has always had the desire and confidence to stand out from the crowd on and off the field. So what’s his style advice for you? “Be who you are. You don’t have to follow anyone else.”
Click here to learn about the adidas Athletics ZNE Pulse Knit collection, one of DeAndre’s go-to style choices.
Though the 2012 NFL season is still fresh, the return of the regular referees stole Week 4 headlines after an agreement was reached last Wednesday. Following the Monday Night debacle in Green Bay last week, Commissioner Goodell, the league’s owners and officials worked out a new deal in time for Thursday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Needless to say, players, coaches and fans were happy to see the real deal back on the field.
While refs may not be perfect, the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals entered the weekend with unblemished records and were hopeful that they’d stay that way. The Texans had a relatively easy time accomplishing that feat, but it came down to the final ticks for the Falcons and Cardinals.
With another stifling defensive performance, Houston rolled over the division rival Tennessee Titans 38-14. Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns, while Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns to help the Texans ease their way into a 4-0 start.
How do you overcome three Cam Newton touchdowns and a late-game deficit? Try Matt Ryan, Roddy White and a little perseverance. Down 28-27 with less than two minutes to play, the Falcons forced a running Newton to fumble on 3rd and 2, preventing him from picking up a game-clinching first down. Then, pinned back at his own 1-yard line, Ryan led a signature drive that left the Cats stunned. The key play on the drive was a 59-yard bomb to White, which help set Atlanta up for a game-winning 40-yard Matt Bryant field goal. Ryan completed 25 passes for 369 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were caught by Roddy.
Lastly, there were the unpredictable Cardinals, who showed the fight of a team with playoff aspirations on Sunday. Down 13-0 at halftime, the Birds rallied in the second half to force overtime. In the extra frame, Jay Feeley booted a 46-yarder to keep Arizona perfect. Kevin Kolb threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns, while Andre Roberts continued to turn heads with a 118-yard, two touchdown reception day.
In other Week 4 games, the New England Patriots scored 45 second half points to comeback and blast the Buffalo Bills 52-28; Minnesota’s special teams proved to be the difference in a 20-13 upset victory over the Detroit Lions; San Francisco may have ushered in a new era of Tebowmania by blanking the New York Jets 34-0; Peyton Manning got back on track by guiding the Broncos past the rival Oakland Raiders 37-6; Green Bay shook off another unfortunate ref call to top the winless New Orleans Saints 28-27; RG3 and Billy Cundiff helped the Washington Redskins hold off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-22; Lawrence Tynes missed a late field goal in a 19-17 Giants loss to the Philadelphia Eagles; and the Dallas Cowboys’ woes continued with an ugly 34-18 loss to the Chicago Bears last night.
Want to know what football cleats were players were wearing in this action packed week of football? Find out in today’s NFL Watch.
While the improbable run of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos is currently stealing the headlines, the NFL’s ultimate underdog story this season may be that of the Houston Texans, who also advanced in the playoffs this weekend. Despite being hit hard by the injury bug last year, the Texans won their first ever AFC South title, which also resulted in their first ever playoff appearance. That appearance also resulted in the team’s first ever playoff win, as the Texans ran through the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 31-10 in front of their home fans at Reliant Stadium.
What makes the Texans’ run even more remarkable is the contributions they’re getting from rookie players. The fiber of any great NFL team is making sure that significant players are added through the draft, and it appears that they’ve picked a couple winners this season.
First, there’s defensive end J.J. Watt, whom the Texans selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The impressive pass rusher beat tackles with speed and guard with power throughout the season, racking up 56 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his first campaign. However, his biggest difference-making performance came in Saturday’s playoff win over the Bengals, where he registered a sack and an interception return for a touchdown on the day. With the game tied at 10 and less than a minute before halftime, Watt grabbed an Andy Dalton pass out of the air and ran it down the field for a 29-yard score. That key moment swung momentum in favor of the Texans and they never looked back.
Also in his first season is quarterback T.J. Yates, who started the season third on the depth chart. After season-ending injuries to starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart, Yates stepped in to guide the Texans’ playoff run. His numbers on Saturday weren’t jaw-dropping, but he played mistake free football that kept Houston from playing on their heels. Yates threw no interceptions and never fumbled the ball, while the much more heralded Andy Dalton threw three picks. T.J. is now a winner in four of the six full games he has played.
What’s also fascinating about watching these young players succeed is flashing back to the 2011 NFL Combine, where Eastbay had the opportunity to speak to both Watt and Yates. Check out the following video clips to hear their preseason thoughts and reminisce about their earliest Eastbay shopping experiences!
With one week of NFL Football in the books, we here at Eastbay are ready to name our first Player of the Week. While players like Tom Brady, Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall all had big weeks to lift their teams to key wins, no player made a bigger statement than Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. A second-year player out of the University of Tennessee who spent the first 10 games of last season on the Texans’ practice squad, Foster shredded the Indianapolis Colts’ defense with 231 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries.
With his big performance, Foster also put his name in the record books. The 231 rushing yards surpasses a team record of 158 yards set by Domanick Davis in 2004. Additionally, Foster’s yard total is the second-best number posted on NFL opening weekend. Foster will be the first to say that the biggest news from yesterday’s game is the team’s win over the Colts, who had beaten them in 15 of their previous 16 meetings, but we salute an incredible Week 1 performance.