Houston (CBS Houston) – Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins will share the field again this Sunday. This time, the two share the field as much more known receivers than in the past. Both first-round draft picks out of Clemson, the two are only separated by a year. Hopkins going in the first-round in 2013 and Watkins going in the first round in 2014.
“It’s always exciting being on the same field with somebody I played two years with at Clemson,” Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said of opposite playing Watkins this Sunday. “I’ve seen him grow up, seen him come a long way, so it’s going to be exciting to see him first hand.”
The two have remained good friends even being so far apart.
“We always knew we was going to have a relationship, cause of the relationship we built at Clemson,” Hopkins said of the bond he and Watkins shares. “No matter where we went, if we were rivals in the same conference, he knew we’d still be brothers off the field.”
The brotherhood the two share even managed to help Watkins through tough times when Watkins a couple of weeks back was frustrated by the lack of targets he was getting. Hopkins was one the guys in his corner helping Watkins through his tough times.
“I was having bad times and not getting the ball, those situations,” Bills wide receiver Watkins said, “he just told me ‘man stay focused, you can’t control everything.'”
Hopkins shared that he was once in the same situation that Watkins was in, but he had a veteran in Andre Johnson to help him stay the course. Hopkins himself shared the same message to Watkins, you can’t worry about the things you can’t control.
Watkins and Hopkins have become two of the prime weapons in the NFL.
Watkins so far has 526 yards on the season and is a very dangerous big play threat for the Bills. Hopkins himself has doubled the production of what Watkins has been able to do with 1,081 yards and has become one of the most feared targets in the NFL.
“I have no choice I see him on SportsCenter like every week,” Watkins said about keeping up with Hopkins progress.
The Bills wide receiver said he always knew Hopkins had the type of skills he is making highlight reels with these days. He even mentioned that Hopkins did those things and “crazier” things while the two shared time at Clemson.
While Watkins isn’t exactly the household name that his former teammate is yet, the Texans are still very concerned with his ability.
“He’s a guy, were you better know where he is on every single play,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said of Watkins.
On the other sideline Bills, head coach Rex Ryan is equally concerned about Hopkins.
“When you look at Hopkins, the thing that jumps out at you, you know obviously everybody sees the great catches, they talk about (Odell) Beckham, this guy makes the same type of catches all the time,” said Ryan.
The game this Sunday won’t be Watkins against Hopkins, but it’s clear a lot of focus and attention will be on the two former standouts from Clemson.
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