Texans DeAndre Hopkins Knows Patriots Stephon Gilmore's South Carolina Roots Make Him Who He Is
With the New England Patriots coming to town on Sunday to face the Houston Texans, there will be plenty of star power on the football field. The respect for cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been evident with the way coaches and players have talked about hit play.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson called Gilmore one of the top two cornerbacks in the NFL, and head coach Bill O'Brien acknowledged how he had led the Patriots secondary this season.
"Great player, been playing for a long time," O'Brien said of Gilmore. "He's got good size, really good movement skills for his size. He's a very smooth player, very instinctive player. He usually covers the best receiver in man-to-man coverage, obviously studies tape a lot. Just a really, really good player."
Usually tasked with following the opposing offenses best receiver around in coverage, Gilmore could be called upon to try and slow DeAndre Hopkins this weekend.
Hopkins, a native of Central, South Carolina, offered a straightforward answer on why Gilmore is one of the best at his position.
When asked what makes Gilmore so good, Hopkins answered,
"Being from South Carolina."
"We dogs around there," Hopkins continued, "That's what makes him so good."
The potential matchup between Hopkins and Gilmore have two of the top players at their respective position as one that could motivate many. For Hopkins, he is used to the competition, and as he put it, facing off against one of the best in Jalen Ramsey two times a year prepared him to treat every game as such.
"Everybody is just football game," Hopkins said of the marquee matchup. "Look at their stats or just or who it is. It is a game. I'm going to go out and do my job."
Calling it an "honor" if the Patriots opt to send Gilmore after him the entire game, Hopkins understands this is about him and his teammates on Sunday.
Still, Hopkins knows greatness when he sees it.
"Stephon is great," Hopkins finished. "Great competitor, great guy. One of the best."
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