Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins pulls in a reception for a 62-yard touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Clemson, SC. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
CLEMSON, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -
While the world awaits the top college players to be chosen by NFL teams night, fans across South Carolina were cheering on their favorite players.
Clemson University's DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington, Malliciah Goodman, Dalton Freeman and Rashard Hall have been listed in various mock drafts, with Hopkins rated the highest among the players.
Nearly three hours after the draft began, Hopkins was taken as the 27th overall pick by the Houston Texans. Hopkins was the first Clemson player to be drafted by the Texans and the first Clemson wide receiver to be selected in the first round since Rod Gardner was the number 15 selection by the Washington Redskins in 2001.
Receiver was the biggest need for the Texans who have long lacked a top-tier receiver to play opposite star Andre Johnson, who turns 32 this summer.
It's just the second time Houston has drafted a receiver in the first round and the first time since Johnson was chosen third overall in 2003.
Last year, they drafted receivers DeVier Posey in the third round and Keshawn Martin in the fourth round. Posey contributed on offense, but tore his Achilles tendon in their playoff loss and is likely to miss a lot of time this season, and Martin worked mostly on special teams.
Veteran Kevin Walter was cut after the season.
In the past four years, Clemson had 19 players drafted. Hopkins was the 23rd first-round Clemson pick - the first since C.J. Spiller in 2009.
Ellington is predicted to go in the second of third round while Goodman, Freeman and Hall will likely go in later rounds on Saturday.
Several Gamecock players are also awaiting their picks in the draft. Click here to read more about their prospects.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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