Swinney explains why Higgins could have benefited from another year at Clemson

Swinney explains why Higgins could have benefited from another year at Clemson


Swinney explains why Higgins could have benefited from another year at Clemson


Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was surprised that his former star wide receiver Tee Higgins was not one of the six players at his position taken in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft last week.

Higgins, a projected first-round selection by many entering the draft, slipped into the second round but was snatched up by the Cincinnati Bengals with the first pick of the round (No. 33 overall).

“Everybody makes their own decisions and evaluations and whatever, and there were a lot of good receivers in the draft this year, and to each his own,” Swinney said recently on “NFL Now” on the NFL Network when asked how Higgins lasted until the second round. “Everybody’s got to make the decision that they think is best for them, and you can ask that question over and over as time goes … How did that guy go this late or whatever? But he’s the first pick of the second round, so I guess, what is that, the 33rd pick? There’s a lot of great football players in the country, and for him to be in the top 33 is special.”

Swinney believes Higgins could have benefited from another year at Clemson and been one of the first players off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Swinney says he was behind Higgins’ decision to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter this year’s draft following his junior season in 2019.

“I think had he come back, he would have probably been a top-five, top-10 pick,” Swinney said. “But he was ready and I certainly supported him in that, and I really fully thought he would go in the first round. But he didn’t, he went 33rd, but he’s going to do well.”

Higgins finished his three-year career from 2017-19 with 135 career receptions for 2,448 yards and 27 receiving touchdowns, which are tied for the most touchdown receptions in school history with DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. Higgins departed as the only player in school history to record double-digit touchdown receptions in consecutive seasons.

The 10th wide receiver in Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL, Higgins is as complete of a receiver the Tigers have had according to Swinney, who sees a bright future for him in Cincinnati.

“I can just tell you Tee Higgins is going to be an impactful guy the first day he can get on that practice field,” Swinney said. “He’s an awesome young man, but truly as complete a player as we’ve had come out of here at his position.”

Clemson fans now is the time to support the local businesses.

A great gift for any Tiger fan. Get your custom yard sign. Just one of many great items available from Palmetto Custom Metal & Woodcraft



Top-ranked Clemson demolished ACC-foe Georgia Teach in Atlanta on Saturday. And as usual, the big lead gave the Tigers a chance to rotate young players in and out to experience game time reps. The (…)


Clemson forward Courtney Jones, who plays on the women’s soccer team, has made the most of the odd season thus far with three starts in five games, one goal and three points on the year for the nationally ranked (…)


There is a long list of star quarterbacks who were drafted in recent years, including Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa to name a few. (…)


Justyn Ross’ recovery from spinal surgery continues to go well. A week after he was allowed to put on a helmet for the first time since having surgery this past June, the Clemson wide receiver has worked (…)

More The Clemson Insider