AUSTIN, Texas -- Whenever possible Mack Brown does his best to avoid Trey Hopkins.
It's not the hulking size, although 6-foot-4 and 300-pounds can lead to a little intimidation. But in this case, it is the brains not the brawn.
He's too smart, the Texas coach always jokes.
And Brown is not in the business of looking dumb. The Texas coach shouldn’t feel too bad though. Hopkins made the Big 12's all-academic first team. He's planning on loading on up pre-med classes this summer. And his aspiration is to go into the medical field.
“I've just always loved science,” the junior said.
If you're a Texas fan, you hope his favorite science class is chemistry. That's because now that David Snow is gone to graduation, Texas is searching for someone to mix and match the personalities on the offensive line. Hopkins, by virtue of being the most cerebral returning starter, will be the person in charge of that task.
So far, so good, Hopkins said.
“We are figuring each other out.”
So too is offensive line coach Stacy Searels. The coach is in his second year and offseason. Now he knows who and what he has. He also knows they understand what it means when the hat comes off and he comes their way like the James Bond villain Oddjob.
“It still flies,” said Hopkins of the hat. “But I think it flies know because of expectations.”
The expectation is that Hopkins can counteract the rather vociferous personality of the opposite guard, Mason Walters, and bring cohesion to a line that only has one new starter, Donald Hawkins.
“(Mason) is definitely our big leader,” Hopkins said. “A lot of the time you just hear the tone of his voice, the growl.”
Hopkins evidently is proficient in growl translation and helps to translate what Walters wants and when.
“We know each other,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins also knows that this four to five year span of his life is not just about football. He aspires to be an anesthesiologist. But in the meantime football might just be a good training ground.
“I like being in control,” he said of his interest in his future profession. “Easing the pain.”
Until then, he can continue to try to knock a few people out on the field.