Higgins worked hard to be the best to wear No. 5

Higgins worked hard to be the best to wear No. 5

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Higgins worked hard to be the best to wear No. 5

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Through the years, Clemson Football has had countless All-Americans and All-Conference players to help it become one of college football’s best programs.

With that said, who wore their number the best? Clemson has retired just three numbers it is proud history. Steve Fuller’s No. 4, C.J. Spiller’s No. 28 and Banks McFadden’s No. 66. However, the Tigers have had many decorated players wear those numbers and more.

Who wore what number the best? We continue our series with who wore No. 5 the best at Clemson.

When Dabo Swinney describes his players, the one thing he likes to tell is that he has no divas on his team. Tee Higgins is definitely not a diva.

The former Clemson wide receiver exceled under Swinney’s tutelage and worked his tail off. His hard work paid off this past April when he was selected with the first pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Cincinnati Bengals took Higgins No. 33 overall.

Higgins ended his Clemson career as one of the top receivers in the program’s history, catching 135 passes for 2,448 yards, while tying the school’s all-time touchdown reception mark with 27. In all, he played in 43 games with 30 starts in his three-year career.

“Tee Higgins is as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of Clemson,” Swinney said. “I think he’s in the same category as [Mike] Williams when it comes to being a complete receiver and you’re talking about size, speed, athleticism, catch radius, ball skills, ability to lean on people, body control and all of those type of things.

“He’s as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of here. Tee is a great kid and a Day One starter.”

Higgins was the 10th wide receiver in Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL. He was the 14th Clemson wide receiver under Swinney’s guidance to be drafted including Swinney’s stint as wide receivers’ coach from 2003-’08.

The Oak Ridge, Tenn., native was also Clemson’s ninth draft pick at wide receiver since 2013. Clemson’s eight previous selections at wide receiver from across the 2013-2019 NFL Drafts were tied for the most in the country.

“Tee is a consistently hard-working young man. For a high-profile guy and just a naturally talented player, it comes easy to him, but he doesn’t rest on his laurels and wants to improve every day,” Clemson wide receivers’ coach Tyler Grisham said. “He’s a great practice player, which shows up on game day.

“Being so tall, he can win on jump balls. Having a basketball background, he’s able to time up those jump balls well, but for being a tall guy, he runs routes like he’s a 5’10” or 6’0” guy and has great top-end speed. His ability to get in and out of his breaks with ease is uncommon for a 6’4” receiver. He has phenomenal hands, but what gets overlooked is his toughness and strength. He was one of our best blockers because he has the tools and he cares and has the ‘want-to’ to do his job and help his teammates out.”

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