Just before the Orange team’s offense went out on the field for the second time in Clemson’s spring game last month, co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott told the unit to go out and make plays.
Wide receiver Tee Higgins obliged them.
The rising sophomore went out and hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence three plays later, a play in which he ran past cornerback Mark Fields for the six points.
“I did not know if the DB was going to play me like he did, but it was a great play,” Higgins said.
Higgins made a lot of great plays that afternoon. He opened the game by catching a 37-yard pass as he went up and outmuscled cornerback A.J. Terrell for the football.
“It was great to see Tee go out there and make some plays early on,” Scott said. “That is something we talked about. ‘You are going to get some early opportunities and if you make the most of it early then it really gets contagious for the rest of the guys.’ I felt that is exactly what happened.”
After his 50-yard touchdown reception, Higgins again outmuscled Terrell for a ball near the goal line and then fought his way into the end zone for his second touchdown of the day.
“This spring it has been a battle in the boundary,” Higgins said. “A.J. and I go at it every day in practice. It was just great to get a win.”
Higgins also hauled in a 13-yard completion for a first down. All four receptions, which all came in the first quarter, totaled 118 yards.
“I just went out there, kept my head high and went out there and competed,” he said.
Higgins competed all spring against Trevion Thompson and Diondre Overton for the starting position at the boundary. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound receiver’s performance in the spring game played a big role in why he was named as a co-starter at the boundary position with Thompson on the post-spring depth chart.
“I think it was huge,” Scott said back in April. “It kind of puts that exclamation mark on his spring. Like several of our guys, I think this gives him the confidence because he was going against a very good defense over there.
“Obviously, he has plenty of things to work on, but you want to finish on a good note and really kind of close the chapter on spring ball and move into summer preparations. It was a great way to finish.”
Clemson will begin fall camp in August. The 2018 season opens Sept. 1 vs. Furman at Death Valley in Clemson.