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Hokies counting on Hopkins brothers to thrive together on the defensive line
DTs Derrick and Antoine are close on and off the field
BLACKSBURG, Va. — The first time Antoine and Derrick Hopkins played on the same team, they ran around, mostly aimlessly, with a Richmond-area YMCA basketball squad nicknamed the Bulls. Antoine was about 7 or 8 years old, Derrick 5 or 6.
“He could never make a layup,” Antoine said.
“Wide open, he could not make a layup. The basket was like five feet tall.”
“I’d always cherry pick. Somebody would throw me the ball, and I’d miss it.”
“Hit the bottom of the rim,” Antoine chimed in.
“No, I got it over the rim, at least.”
“Nah, you hit the bottom of the rim, Derrick. I remember that.”
They both laughed and thought about how different Saturday’s season opener against Appalachian State will be. The Hopkins brothers — best friends, roommates and Highland Springs High graduates — play defensive tackle for the Hokies. Antoine is a fourth-year junior starting for the second season, Derrick a true sophomore starting for the first time.
• In 1996, T.J. Washington was the right offensive tackle, Todd the left guard.
“It’s going to be sweet,” Antoine said. “We’ve kind of been in this place before, but not on this stage. It’s going to be a big deal.”
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