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Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins reflects on season and autograph changes

By Susan Lulgjuraj | Beckett Football Editor

DeAndre Hopkins came from a successful college program. At Clemson University, his teams simply won and he helped the Tigers to their first 11-win season in 2012.

After three years, Hopkins finished his college career with records in receiving yards (3,020) and career touchdowns (27). The Houston Texans drafted him with 27th overall, which seemed like a good place to keep the winning tradition going. Houston made the playoffs each of the last two seasons and was considered to be a contender again.

However, Hopkins found himself in an unfamiliar place when the Texans finished the 2013 season losing 14 straight games.

“It was difficult,” Hopkins told Beckett Media. “Thankfully, we had some guys that had been in tough situations. We have vets who have been in this spot.”

“I like to win,” Hopkins added. “It didn’t go with me well. We were losing. My coach always told me to keep my head in it and don’t let frustrations show. But it hit me to be the last team in the NFL. It doesn’t look good.”

Hopkins had a good season from a personal standpoint. The wide receiver had 802 yards on 52 receptions with two receiving touchdowns.

Some of the struggles occurred when Hopkins found himself playing with a different quarterback week to week. Three players lined up under center with Matt Schaub, Case Keenum and even T.J. Yates getting a shot.

“It didn’t help to have consistency at any position not just the quarterback position,” Hopkins said. “To have a quarterback there, they can get us the ball consistently. That’s always a good thing.”

Still, Hopkins had some pleasant moments from Houston’s 2-14 season, and he’s looking forward to see what the Texans do with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft.

“The two wins we had that’s what I remember most,” Hopkins said. “There were good times and bad times. You learn from the bad things we did, but there were some good memories. I am very excited. They are great guys. They know what they are doing. I am on board with them. With getting a new coach, I am excited to see what the season holds.”

Hopkins has been one of the more popular rookies on trading cards in 2013 products. He appears on nearly 1,300 cards with more than 600 autograph cards. Some of those autographs have high print runs, and the 2013 trading card season isn’t over yet.

Some collectors may have noticed that Hopkins changed his autograph on cards during the season. His early autographs feature his first initial and his last name “D. Hopkins” on cards. But later autographs have just his initials “D.H.” Some even have his initials with his jersey number on them.

“I was talking to a couple of veterans in the league, looking at a lot of their cards,” Hopkins said. “A lot of cards are just their initials. When you have to sign so many cards, sometimes doing Hopkins is kind of heavy on the hand. I just kind of took it and ran with it.”

Current cards are different than the kinds of cards Hopkins collected when he was younger. He would go to Wal-Mart and pick up baseball and basketball cards. These days, he sees the options are far different.

“The ones with jersey patches are neat,” Hopkins said. “Those are unique. It’s cool to think someone is going to have a piece of your jersey.”

Susan Lulgjuraj is an editor at Beckett Media. You can email her here with questions, comments or ideas. Follow her on Twitter here. Follow Beckett Media on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Comments

David

Heavy on the hand? Then don’t rush through them all. You are being paid handsomely for these autos. Don’t half-ass them. Lazy…

Posted February 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
Mike Pereira

If the manufactures didn’t have so many products and the autos didn’t go up to /600 in a products. Than maybe there wouldn’t be redemptions and the value of autos would be alot more. So what do you get out of a $100+ hobby box, an auto #/600 of a guy that has signed so many autos that they just us initials, which you can’t really tell what letters. There is nothing better then seeing a nice auto of a player that you don’t have to read the card to find out what his name is. How about we stop over producing this stuff. When a base card is worth more than an auto than something is wrong. Would you rather have had an Andrew Luck base card or a Coby Fleener auto /600 that somehow was in almost every third hobby box. There is a reason Topps Chrome is a hit every year and it’s because even the third string TE auto is worth money because there is only one auto per box.

Posted February 5, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

I am with David on this one, he is being paid to sign the cards. His signature does not have to be elaborate but legible and more than just a “D.H.” would be appreciated by his fans. I understand these guys have a lot to focus on during the season but don’t commit to signing autographs if you don’t want to sign them. He has a 4-year $7.62 million contract, I am sure the money he makes by half-assing his signature wouldn’t make a huge difference to his checkbook if he just skipped the deal with Topps.

Posted February 5, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink
Gregory Fricker

Collecting Christine Michael gets a bit weak when you choose to pass on paying $25 for a card with a “C” on it

Posted February 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

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