On his virtual conference call meeting with the media, Tee Higgins surprised some in the audience after saying the Bengals were his favorite team growing up. A big reason why was Higgins modeling his game after one of his future teammates, A.J. Green.
Higgins was all smiles after the Bengals selected him No. 33 overall to open the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are five fun facts about Higgins prior to being selected by the Bengals.
Higgins finished his Clemson career tied for the most receiving touchdowns in school history (27) with NFL stars DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. He achieved that feat playing in only 37 games against some of the top competition in the country. One of his best performances came against Alabama in the 2019 National Championship game when he Higgins posted three catches for 81 yards, including a touchdown.
A Mismatch Machine
What makes Higgins an interesting prospect is his versatility in an offense. At Clemson he played all three receiver spots. That allowed him to be used all over the field and in a variety of situations. The production mattered as Higgins departed as the only player in Clemson history to record double-digit touchdown receptions in consecutive seasons.
"Tee Higgins is as complete a receiver as we've had come out of Clemson," said Tigers Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "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."
Prior to college, Higgins was the highest rated signee in Clemson's 2017 class according to ESPN, Scout and 247 Sports. He rated the No. 15 prospect in the nation by Rivals, No. 1 in Tennessee and No. 2 wide receiver in the nation. However, he was also just as productive as a basketball player as well as he was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in Tennessee as a junior.
Higgins recently wrote an essay in the Players Tribune about his mother, Camillia Stewart, and the hardships they endured. Stewart battled drug addiction for years, but has been sober for over a decade and served as a positive role model for Tee.
Love of Hot Wheels
For Higgins football and basketball were just vehicles to get what he really wanted as a kid Hot Wheels cars. In fact, his love is so deep he recently partnered with Hot Wheels to donate $5,000 worth of toys to the Boys & Girls Club in Greenville, S.C.
"When I was old enough, my aunt wanted me to play pee wee or boys club football," Higgins said on clemsontigers.com back in 2019. "I always liked basketball better and was not really sold on football and really didn't like it. She told me if I would play football, she would buy me a Hot Wheels car. And she then told me if I scored three touchdowns, she would buy me three Hot Wheels cars. I went out and scored three touchdowns. I have to give credit to my aunt for me loving the game of football."