Albert Huggins not fazed by big stage, says he'll play free


by - Staff Writer -
Huggins talks to the media Thursday
Huggins talks to the media Thursday

ARLINGTON, TX – While Albert Huggins is hurting for his brother and fellow defensive tackle, Dexter Lawrence, the senior is looking forward to an opportunity to shine.

Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich announced Thursday evening that Lawrence – along with Braden Galloway and Zach Giella – will miss Saturday’s Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium after testing positive (.02) for ostarine, a banned substance by the NCAA.

With Lawrence out, Huggins – the Orangeburg (SC) native and recent graduate – will most likely get the start and show why he came to Clemson four years ago – an opportunity he isn’t taking lightly.

“I'm just happy. I'm not happy about the situation but I'm happy that I get a chance to show my talents on this beautiful stage. I'm blessed and I'm happy about it,” Huggins told TigerNet Thursday morning during the Cotton Bowl Classic Media Day at AT&T Stadium.

Huggins said he and the rest of his teammates have embraced the trio, something that’s not extraordinary for this group.

“Of course. The whole team has. I've been here for four years and for something like this to happen, it's good to see everybody act the way they did. It's a brotherhood and a family around here,” Huggins said. “When you come on these trips, the whole coaching staff's families come. We get to bond together. We actually get to spend time with each other and do events with each other. I know anywhere else in college, it's not like this. I haven't seen it, but I know. It's just good to see.

“It's good to see that we're together as one. I'm not saying necessarily that what happened brought us together more because we're a brotherhood and we're tight. It's hard to break that bond.”

Huggins has played in 45 games and has started two, and he said he knows what it takes to be the starter and a big-time contributor.

“I've had the opportunity to start and I know what I need to do and how I need to prepare,” he said. “It's the same way I prepare every week. You have to prepare like a starter because you never what will happen. I've just got to go out there and play free. If I go out there with some butterflies, I might tighten up, so I'm just going out there and playing free.”

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