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Former Sparkman High All-American Xavier Hopkins has entered the Transfer Portal after deciding to leave the football program at Alabama State where he was a 2019 walk-on. The talented linebacker said, “I believe in myself and know I can help another team.” Photo Contributed

Former Sparkman Football Star Xavier Hopkins Enters Transfer Portal From Alabama State

MONTGOMERY- After never dressing out nor playing in a game, despite being told the contrary by the Alabama State Hornets, Xavier Hopkins has decided to enter the Transfer Portal to try and transfer to another school and is currently sending out his highlights video and e-mails to potential collegiate football programs to utilize his enormous talents as a linebacker.

“I never got a chance to play although I was told I was moving up and would receive the chance to do so as several linebackers in front of me became injured,” said Hopkins from his dorm in Montgomery as a walk-on for the Hornets. “I was eligible the entire time and I worked hard at being the best on the field and in the classroom.”

Hopkins, a 5-foot-11, 226-pound linebacker graduated from Sparkman High in 2019 after posting 93 tackles in his senior season, was chosen to play in the AHSAA All-Star Week Football Game and more importantly played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl held in Houston, Tex. He chose to attend the Hornets’ NCAA Div. I program, which plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), as a walk-on.

“I’ve been at it for a month after making my decision and when I visited home in Harvest I had lengthy discussions with Sparkman head coach (Laron) White and assistant coaches (Ronnie) Watson and (Thomas) Harris,” said Hopkins, son of James and Nicole Lee Massey, both of whom are retired military, which meant Hopkins could attend Alabama State at no charge.

With recent shootings reported on campus and not receiving fair treatment within the football program, Hopkins has reached out to several other schools including Alabama A&M and numerous JUCO programs. He indicated the experience has been very humbling, but feels his experiences at Sparkman, including being named an All-American, not to mention his incredible athletic talents, will propel him to a place he needs to be.

“One of the things Coach White told me was he felt this has happened for a reason and my story is special and it’s God’s work to make this work out and will mean the most when it happens,” added Hopkins. “With my mom’s encouragement and speaking with my former coaches while I’ve been working out with lots of conditioning and weight training, I’ve been able to get through these obstacles and make my decision to transfer.”

Several of Hopkins’ teammates at Sparkman are currently playing at other institutions such as Troy, Miss State, Tennessee State, Kentucky Christian and Cumberland. He’s studying business and sports medicine and wants to continue on that educational path and join his former teammates by playing college football.

Hopkins added, “I believe in myself and it’s amazing to know my 13-year old brother, Jamari, told me something that has stuck with me. He knows my goal is to make to the NFL and told me to make my goal I will have to go through some ups and downs, but my experience will show other young people how important it is to not give up.”

The former High School All-American has conditioned work ethics, strong determination and spiritual strength to make it to where he can excel in football, education and possibly pursue his ultimate goal.

“God is going to give me a crack in all of this and I’m walking through,” said Hopkins. “Where I go next I know it will be special for both me and the football program.”

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