Courtesy photo

Ja’Quarrian Hopkins signed his letter of intent to play for the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats’ football program last month. Shown top row, from left, are aunts Charicia Windfield, Cynthia Davis, and Krystle Evans-Lindsey. First row, from left, his grandmother Garrolyn Evans, Hopkins, and his mother Betty Evans.


Wharton High School senior Ja’Quarrian Hopkins will continue his football playing career at Southwest Baptist University (SBU) in Missouri after picking this school over two others.

Hopkins, who played both offensive and defensive lines for the Wharton Tigers under coach Chad Butler, said it was important for him to be needed at the college he would be attending.

His decision was SBU.

“I wanted to attend a school where I was actually treated as a priority and the coach gave me a pretty decent offer that I couldn’t resist,” said Hopkins, who traveled to Missouri with cousin Harvells Brown, and classmate James Jones.

Hopkins plans to major in management.

He will play for an SBU program that is currently playing football at the moment. Days after signing his letter of intent inside the WHS gymnasium, the SBU Bearcats Thursday defeated Truman State, 38-20. It was SBU’s first game in 502 days, according to the school. It was the Bearcats’ only home game in a shortened spring football season.

“One of my older family friends attended SBU and he told the head coach (Robert Clardy) about me and that’s how I popped up on their radar,” Hopkins said.

The 2020 all-district selection said WHS taught him what he needs to move on to the next level in academics and athletics.

“During my freshman season on the varsity football team our ending record was 1-7 and we didn’t make the playoffs that season; during the next season we came back and won the district championship,” Hopkins said. “Academically, Wharton has prepared me to do great things because first off the counselors knew me and my potential so honor classes were the only route they were allowing me to take.”

Hopkins, who considered Texas Wesleyan University (Fort Worth) and Grand View University (Des Moines, Iowa), also participated in track and field since his freshman year. He’s been on varsity since his sophomore year.

Hopkins’ favorite subject is English. His GPA is 3.4.

He credits the work ethic that was taught to him by WHS assistant coach Reggie Davis. Hopkins’ height and size enabled him to excel as an offensive lineman behind quarterbacks Donovan Krushall and Sterling Harris, and during the same games – defensive lineman. 

“I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in now if it wasn’t for my lineman coach Reggie Davis. I appreciate all that he and the rest of the coaching staff has done for me,” Hopkins said.


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