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Tulsa's Moton Hopkins and Teammates Preparing for Ball State

Moton Hopkins has started 41 career games for the Hurricane at defensive end.
Moton Hopkins has started 41 career games for the Hurricane at defensive end.
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Jan. 4, 2009

Mobile, Alabama - Juggling objects in the air might not be one of Moton Hopkins' greatest skills, but balancing responsibilities and several activities would be considered a great juggling act. A student, football player, community servant, recently crowned Homecoming King and one who is involved in multiple campus activites, the senior defensive end has to find time for everything.

Hopkins and his Tulsa teammates are in Mobile, Alabama, this week to face the Ball State Cardinals in the 2009 GMAC Bowl on Tuesday night.

"I definitely keep myself busy," Hopkins said. "Everyone will usually be flexible with my schedule. It gets pretty hectic during the season. But (all of the activities) usually just work themselves out."

At halftime of the football game vs. Rice on Oct. 4, Tulsa presented its homecoming court and announced its king and queen. The queen, Brittany Lewis, of course was on the field for crowning, but the TU student body's elected king was not. Moton Hopkins was in the locker room preparing to stop a Rice offense in the second half that was among the best in the conference. Instead, his father was on the field accepting the crown and sash for his son.

A student-athlete in every sense of the term, Hopkins often finds himself shuffling responsibilities and prioritizing his activities. He served as president of the National Honor Society in 2005, and has been a member of the University Ambassadors and the Association of Black Collegians since 2006. In addition, he is on the Mortar Board for Art Design, is a member of the Scroll Honor Society, and made the Dean's List following two semesters.

"It's just another way to get involved on campus and meet people outside of athletics," said Hopkins. "I didn't want to come to school and just be a football player."

On the field, Hopkins is a tenacious defensive end, wreaking havoc for opponents trying to run the football or pass it across him. He is third on the team in tackles with 75, including 12 for a loss totaling 49 yards, and has recovered two fumbles. He has also broken up three passes from his defensive end position, extending his long arms into the air to deflect the ball that enters his space.

Around campus, Hopkins is among the nicest people at The University of Tulsa, as evidenced by his university ambassadorship and his frequent requests for interviews. He regularly reads to students at local elementary schools, speaks to youth football teams and volunteered with a local church to clean up after the December 2007 ice storm in Tulsa and to donate Thanksgiving meals. Hopkins also helps with security at a TU sorority's end-of-semester pancake sale, the proceeds of which benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital. He is always willing to sign autographs for fans.

"It feels good to give back to the community and to kids," said Hopkins. "You realize how other people help you and you want to give back. I really like kids too."

In football, Hopkins serves as a team captain during his senior season. He was named to the second team All-Conference USA team in 2007 and 2008, and was named to the C-USA All-Academic team prior to the conference title game.

In the classroom, Hopkins carries a 3.37 GPA in marketing. When he graduates in May, he plans to try to play in the NFL, but if that does not work out, he will move back home to Rowlett, Texas, to be closer to his family and then pursue a career in advertising or media sales. He held an internship at Cox Communications last spring and summer in the media sales department, selling TV time for ads, and even helped design some graphics for television.

Everything can tie into what Hopkins has learned in football, he says, because football helps you learn to follow leadership by listening to coaches and then to become a leader as a senior member of the team.

"In football, we work all year long to play maybe 13 or 14 games, and you really have a few opportunities to put all that work together and show what you can do," Hopkins said. "Football teaches you to maximize opportunities."

Preparing for his career, while playing football, going to school, serving the community and working with organizations on campus? Yes, it is safe to say that Moton Hopkins is one great juggler.