Tee Higgins has special plans for his biggest fan - his mother
|Monday, December 23, 2019, 3:50 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Wide receiver Tee Higgins enters bowl season with a shot at the Clemson record books, needing just one receiving touchdown to place his name among the Tigers’ all-time greats. His biggest fan will be there to see it happen.
Higgins enters the College Football Playoff on a hot streak. He has eight touchdowns in his last three games, giving him 27 career touchdown receptions to tie DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins for the most in school history. Higgins’ 1,082 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns lead the Tigers this season on 52 receptions.
During his stellar Clemson career, Higgins has 128 receptions for 2,363 yards and those 27 touchdowns. His mother, Camillia “Lady” Stewart, has seen each and every catch and been in his corner the entire way.
Why? She loves her son, and she loves football.
“She loves it. Sometimes I can actually hear her when the stadium gets quiet,” Higgins said. “I can hear her and my sister say, 'Boo! Let's go! Catch the ball.' Especially if I drop one. It is great to have that kind of support.
“During the Georgia Tech game, the defense was on the field and I was on the sideline and I could hear them screaming my name. 'Teeeeeee!!' I looked back and they started waving. It's good to see her and having that type of mother who comes to see you play anywhere and everywhere.”
Higgins was at his best during Clemson’s 62-17 pummeling of Virginia in the ACC Championship Game, hauling in nine catches for a career-high 182 yards and three touchdowns. Following his second touchdown of the night, Higgins took moment to soak in the atmosphere.
“That second touchdown, I don’t know why, but I just enjoyed that one the most, simply because I knew I was close to getting the record,” Higgins said. “I never knew if I was going to go back into the game or not, so I just enjoyed it.”
Head coach Dabo Swinney knew that Stewart was watching it all unfold.
“I’ll guarantee you his mama wasn’t soaking it up. She was hooting and hollering and going crazy in the stand,’ Swinney said. “She was having a ball up there with his sister I’m sure.”
Higgins has admitted that when he first arrived at Clemson he was homesick and there were times when he thought about packing up and going home. There were also times when he thought about quitting football to play basketball, but Stewart wouldn’t hear of it.
“When I first got here I didn't know if I really wanted to play football. She kept my head level and kept me going,” Higgins said. “My mom loves football. She has loved it since I was young. I started playing when I was four. She grew up around it. She has always wanted me to play.”
Higgins has a choice to make at the end of this season – he can return for a senior season or opt for an early entry into the NFL Draft. Many mock drafts have Higgins as the first receiver off the board, and if he chooses to go that route he knows what he wants to do with his first paycheck.
“I want to buy her something that she always wanted,” Higgins said. “I want to buy her a car. I have seen the videos like that (where players surprise their mother with a car) and that is something that I would like to do. But right now, I don't have any plans. I am not sure what I am going to do. My mom does have a favorite car, but I am not going to say it.”