TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In a season during which Dustin Hopkins set one team, conference or national record after another, it's perhaps a bit strange that a play that actually cost his team a few yards makes his personal highlight tape for the year.
On a kickoff against NC State, Hopkins saw his chance to make a tackle, and he shed a blocker aggressively, getting a bit of the player's face mask in the process. A 15-yard personal foul flag was thrown, making Hopkins the rare kicker to get penalized for being too physical.
"It's just fun to be able to tackle somebody," Hopkins said.
Hopkins' drive to be a football player rather than just a kicker has always set him apart in the Florida State locker room, but it's still his leg that has written his legacy at FSU, which now includes status as an ESPN.com All-American.
With one game left to play, Hopkins has already set career highs as a senior with 24 field goals, 133 points and an 85.7 success rate on field-goal tries, while going a perfect 5-for-5 on kicks of 50 yards or more this season. But it's the breadth of Hopkins' career that is the true measure of his accomplishments, now ranking as the most prolific kicker in ACC and FSU history and holding the NCAA record for most points scored by a kicker. Hopkins figures to be the first kicker taken in this year's NFL draft.
While Hopkins' was the lone FSU player to earn ESPN All-America status, four members of the Seminoles defense were named to the ESPN.com All-ACC team: Junior Bjoern Werner and senior Cornellius Carradine were both named All-ACC at defensive end, while junior Lamarcus Joyner earned honors at safety and junior Xavier Rhodes was an all-conference performer at cornerback.