After what he called a "chaotic" recruiting process, Oakland Mills senior and 2015 Howard County Times football Offensive Player of the Year Tre Hopkins has verbally committed to play at the University at Albany in the fall.
Hopkins said Albany, which is located about 150 miles north of New York City and competes at the Division I FCS level in the Colonial Athletic Association alongside teams like Towson, James Madison and Delaware, was heavily involved in his recruitment from the very beginning. He will be playing wide receiver, where he was a first-team all-county selection as a junior after racking up more than 1,100 yards receiving.
"Albany was there from the start and I always had a personal connection with them because they were my first offer," said Hopkins, who accounted for 23 total offensive touchdowns as a quarterback and wide receiver in the fall. "(Head) coach Gregg Gattuso offered me so early without even knowing all of my abilities, so I just felt like he really believed in me and my ability. The coaching staff made me feel comfortable talking to them about anything. Going to the school and meeting all the players, they really made me feel at home. That really led me to my decision."
Hopkins, who also stars on the Scorpions basketball team and is a state champion in the high jump, added that the program made it known that he was a top pick for them.
"I felt like Albany made me feel calm with recruiting because a lot of other schools came out of the blue and talked to me and I wouldn't know if I had an offer from them or not, but Albany made it known they wanted me," he said. "The recruiting process was fun, but it was definitely chaotic."
The Great Danes finished 11th out of 12 schools in their third year in the CAA last season, going 2-6 in conference and 3-8 overall. Hopkins said the offense runs a spread system with four or five wide receivers on the field, and they envision him playing in one of the slot positions.
"They really want me to play in the slot and fill in and play a big role as a receiver," said Hopkins, who added that he wasn't focused on playing quarterback at the next level.
National Signing Day is on Feb. 3, and Hopkins admitted that he was excited to put pen to paper and officially commit to become a Great Dane.