Monday, April 1, 2013
Super sophomore DE talks dream offer
By Radi Nabulsi
ATHENS, Ga. -- Sophomore sensation Albert Huggins (Orangeburg, S.C./Orangeburg-Wilkinson) is not being recruited the same way as most high school football players. Coaches don’t send him a lot of generic mail, then friend him on Facebook, invite him to a junior day later on -- and then a camp – and eventually extend an offer after signing the class ahead of his. Instead, Huggins simply gets cold-called with offers.
Top programs are cutting to the chase and offering the 6-foot-3, 279-pound defensive end. Most of the time Huggins’ first contact with a school, as it was with Alabama, South Carolina, Florida State and Georgia, is a phone call that results in an offer.
“I was speechless when Georgia offered,” Huggins said. “The same with Alabama. I had not heard from them before that. I called the linebackers coach and then I talked to Mark Richt and he said they were offering me. He was excited to make the offer. It was an amazing experience. I was so surprised. I felt real blessed to get that offer.”
Huggins, who also has offers from Florida and Clemson, calls Georgia his “dream school.”
“Before all of this started I was saying, ‘Georgia, Georgia, Georgia,’ ” Huggins said. “South Carolina and Clemson were up there but mostly South Carolina. Georgia was on top -- I had a list at the beginning. Georgia was No. 1. But they had no interest in me and hadn’t offered me so it was just a dream school. And it might have leaked out that that was my dream school and that I wanted an offer from them. But then they saw my highlight tape and said they had to offer.”
Huggins no longer keeps a top five.
“I stopped listing everything and I just say all schools are even right now.”
With almost two years to go before 2015 signing day, that seems a good policy, especially since new offers could come without warning.
“With Alabama I had gotten a questionnaire and sent it back, but other than that they offered me out of the blue,” Huggins said. “South Carolina offered me out of the blue, too. I didn’t know that they were recruiting me. Same with Florida State. So they have to be watching my highlight tape.”
The Gamecocks beat their in-state rival top the punch, offering Huggins while the Tigers were still thinking about it.
Huggins, who will likely move to defensive tackle next season, is already experiencing pressure to stay in the Palmetto State.
“The in-state ties are going to be big when I decide where I want to go to college, but it is still up to me,” Huggins said. “My classmates tell me all the time, ‘I know Georgia is your dream school but South Carolina or Clemson … Alabama, man. Alabama is No. 1.’ I say, ‘I know but it really is my decision.’ Whichever one has the best education and the best future for me is the one I am going to pick.”