It would not be inaccurate to say Tee Higgins is a ray of sunshine in many lives. He loves to share his natural joy and love of life with those around them. If someone is having a rough day, he will do his best to make them laugh in hopes of brightening their day.
He finds remaining humble of great importance to his character and wants to be remembered less for his impact on the field and more importantly, for the impact he left on those around him.
Tee first stepped onto the field at the ripe age of four, but many years of practice and games passed before he truly fell in love with football.
When he scored his first high school touchdown, the feeling was like no other. That is when he fell in love with everything about football – the competition, the burning desire to outplay the opposing defense, and the thrill of finding an open space in the end zone and sending relief through the crowd as they watch the ball land in his hands.
This feeling would become very familiar during his time on varsity. Tee finished his high school career with 33 touchdowns and 1,742 total receiving yards. He earned a five star ranking and the spot as the #1 recruit in Tennessee, along with the #2 wide receiver recruit in the country.
Without a doubt, his impressive catch radius and ball control got the attention of many people in his community, but soon, he caught the attention of scouts from top schools in the country.
The recruitment process was far from easy for him. Tee’s abilities are obvious and his impact on the team he committed to would be immediate. Because of this, fans of many different schools constantly tried to persuade his decision, which created confusion during the already stressful process of picking the perfect school.
When his high school coach stepped in and started helping him sort through colleges and focus on what he wanted, a huge weight was lifted.
Tee announced his commitment with a bang – literally. In a video released by Bleacher Report, Tee joins family and close friends for a barbeque. Throughout the video, fans recognized different merchandise from each of his top schools, including a Tennessee apron, Clemson lawn chair, and a Florida State cooler. Fans of all schools held their breath while watching to see where he would choose.
At the end of the night, everyone gathered around for the firework show. Tee set off orange and purple colored fireworks into the sky, officially announcing his intent to attend Clemson University.
Before long, the video went viral as one of the top recruitment videos ever seen. It was a very special way for Tee to announce his commitment and one he will be able to look back on for years to come.
When trying to understand why he chose Clemson, do not think for a moment it is because of the attention and publicity a player gets for being part of such a successful program.
“That kind of thing doesn’t catch my attention,” says Tee.
Instead, it was the overall feeling of home he enjoyed during his visits. Tee appreciates the small town atmosphere that resembles his hometown, Oak Ridge. In addition, the coaches create a very tight family-like environment for all of the players.
The coaches will not just guide you to become a better player, but will also help you develop into a well-rounded young man. The other players will not just be your teammates who you take the field with; they will become your brothers.
When looking towards the future, the goal is clear for Tee – make an impact on the field, and a bigger impact in the classroom. He understands the importance of education and values the opportunity to earn a degree from Clemson.
Throughout his many years, countless people have offered different words of guidance and wisdom, but the one that stuck with him the most is, “stay in school and get your education”.
Tee will carry that quote with him through college and focus on getting a degree first. After that is when football takes priority.
On the field over the next few years, he wants to work on every skill there is to improve on for a receiver. Whether it is his route-running proficiency, body control, or overall strength, he realizes there is always room for improvement.
Tee is a wonderful inspiration to athletes across the country. He emphasizes the importance of education, and reminds athletes their identity is more than their accomplishments on the field. They should never push academics aside to further themselves athletically.
Without a doubt, Clemson coaches should feel fortunate to have the young man and dedicated leader they are getting in Tee Higgins. He is living proof that you can find a balance in academics, and still achieve your athletic dreams. Go Tigers!
Tee’s Advice: Just to stay in school, make good grades, and work hard at whatever sport you play.