As good as freshman wide receiver Tee Higgins has been on the field over the first week of Clemson’s fall camp, his most impressive moment so far in Jeff Scott’s opinion came off of the field.
Clemson’s receivers coach was wandering the new football operations facility with his daughter, Savannah, during the Tigers’ lunch period on Wednesday when he came across Higgins, who was sitting alone in a nook and cranny, studying his playbook.
“Most players are going into the locker room and laying down, trying to catch a nap,” Scott said. “He’s got his playbook, his notebook out, and I just sat there and watched him for a couple minutes, really going through his install, studying his notes, taking his notes. I kind of slowly walked up to see what he was doing.
“To me, that’s really what separates a typical freshman from guys that are going to be ready to play.”
A former five-star recruit and dual-sport standout at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) High, Higgins has an uncommon amount of talent and physical ability.
According to Scott, he also has the work ethic to supplement his physical gifts, a combination that could help him become a difference-maker for the Tigers sooner than later.
“He’s as talented as any receiver that we’ve had come into Clemson since I’ve been here in nine years,” Scott said. “But the biggest difference is the guys that are willing to put in the time off the field to learn to know what to do and know the details to be able to go out there and execute against a talented defense like we’re facing every day in practice.”
The time Higgins has spent working to study Clemson’s playbook and learn the offense has shown up in his play thus far in camp.
“The install’s been very difficult, very fast, and he has kept up with it,” Scott said. “I don’t think he’s had more than two missed assignments in probably 250 plays so far in fall camp, and that’s rare for a freshman.”
Scott believes Higgins had his best day of practice yet on Thursday.
Higgins displayed his potential to be a deep-ball threat for the Tigers and began to gain more confidence — something that should only grow from here.
“I think today was his best day. He really came on,” Scott said. “He had a really nice conversion. He had a deep-ball catch against one of our starting corners, and that’s not something that happens very much on our football field. So I think his confidence is going to come as he feels confident in his assignment and what he’s doing. I really saw him turn that corner today.
“He’s a guy that when the ball’s in the air, he’s got everybody’s attention on that sideline because they know he can go up and get. He just has God-given ability that not everybody’s blessed with.”
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