4-star defensive lineman Albert HugginsAlbert Huggins Defensive Tackle 6-3, 280 Orangeburg, SC ESPN: View Full Profile from Orangeburg-Wilkinson(HS) chose Clemson over his other finalist Georgia on Friday morning at his high school ceremony. He had two hats on the table with two members of his family looking on.
Huggins was asked moments after his announcement what he wanted to say to his Clemson family: "I'm all in. I'm ready."
"This is a pretty good moment for me. First I would like to start off by giving honor to my leader, God, and say a special thanks to my mom and my dad.," Huggins said at his ceremony. "My mentor, Coach Brown,. I would also like to thank my family and my teammates and the coaching staff. I am very appreciative and I thank you all. I thank the universities for giving me a chance to go to a special college. I am blessed to have such wonderful, supportive people in my life. I am thankful for this opportunity, and I am looking forward to starting my career at Clemson."
This is a huge pickup in an area of need as the Tigers rebuild some quality depth on the defensive line. Clemson will also feel big needs at offensive line and re-load on offensive weapons for the upcoming 2015 class.
The 6-4, 280-pound prospect is regarded as arguably the top South Carolina player in the 2015 class and a 4-star recruit by all the major recruiting services.
Huggins has national offers from Alabama, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
As a junior, he had 65 tackles, 11 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. As a sophomore, he had 64 tackles and four sacks.
Huggins attended the Dabo Swinney football camp the last three years.
TigerNet spoke with Huggins' high school coach Tommy Brown recently and he had the following positive things to say about Huggins.
"Basically, just his personality. A lot of kids are great athletes but a lot kids today aren't coachable but that hasn't been the case with him," Brown told TigerNet. "Every day, he's always trying to get better. Every day, he's coming with the attitude that he's going to work hard. There are no days that he took off. Basically, he was about making the team better, whatever he had to do. He's a total team person. If you had more of those, it would make your job so much easier. It's been a great four years and I'm excited for him."
Brown knew very early on that Huggins was very special player and kid.
"He's very thoughtful and he's a thinker and that's why he's been such a pleasure to coach," Brown said. "You just couldn't sell him anything because you had to be straight up with him. You had to be sincere about what you're teaching him. There was a thought process with everything and that made him one of those special athletes. We knew right away when we met him that he was that type of kid. All of that comes from his family background. He's not going to be successful just playing football, he's going to be successful in life."
Brown also spoke about the Clemson coaches and how well they treated Huggins.
"I think the overall caring attitude of the coaches is what sets Clemson apart," he said. "That's the kind of situation that he's been in in high school. We coach hard. We play hard and we teach you about doing the right thing but we also care about our athletes on and off the field. I think it's important to him to get into a situation where they will not only care about him as a football player but also as a person
In the final hours leading to his announcement, Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby visited Huggins on Friday morning. However, Georgia head coach Mark Richt's in-home visit was cancelled because of a family matter on Thursday night.
Huggins commitment has now given Clemson 12 ESPN 300 commitments.