Welcome to Saturday Down South’s “D-line Week”, where we talk with some of the top realistic defensive line targets out there for SEC schools. We’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in the country, and we’ll rank them at the end of the week. See who your school has a chance of luring to campus.
If there’s one thing that “D-line Week” has taught us at Saturday Down South, it is that there is no lack of personality in this year’s group of top D-line recruits. There are some comedians, some thoughtful types, some future mentors … it’s a special group, both on and off the field.
Albert Huggins is sort of a mixture of all three personality types. As with many of his D-line brethren, when he chooses his school, he’ll be bringing incredible talent and also some off-the-field positive intangibles to the lockerroom. His primary targets–South Carolina, Georgia and Clemson–are all hoping he can be the funny guy on their roster.
“My No. 1 goal is I have got to make you laugh,” Huggins told Saturday Down South. “My parents raised me right. I think I have a good personality, and I always have a smile on my face. Hakuna Matata, man, Hakuna Matata. Like they say in the movie (Lion King), I don’t have worries. My life has changed since all of this has happened, but I hope I haven’t changed much. I really don’t show negative feelings, I just keep things going with an upbeat attitude and go with the flow.”
Huggins is considered the No. 2 prospect in the state of South Carolina, hailing from Orangeburg (S.C.), a town less than an hour south of Columbia (S.C.). He’s 6-foot-3, 280 pounds and very strong (benching 385 pounds, no problem). He could play strongside defensive end, but Huggins told SDS he really sees himself at defensive tackle. Most of the recruiting services see it the same way, as he is rated the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country and a four-star prospect–No. 38 overall in America.
So he’s close to the Gamecocks, Clemson’s just up the road a little bit further, and Athens (Ga.) isn’t that far either. Along with those schools, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee … you name the school, a bunch of them have offered.
“Yeah, and everybody talks about me maybe going to the ACC, but I think they’re only talking about Clemson,” Huggins told SDS. “That’s probably because I’ve been to Clemson four or five times, but I’ve also been to South Carolina four times. I am seriously behind in seeing schools, and I have to get out there and see at least four of these colleges before the season starts. If I don’t, I might be missing out.
“So what do I think about the SEC? … Well, it’s a powerhouse. That’s the one word. You have all these schools, and it’s not like any of them is bad. The SEC is a great conference that produces talent.”
Huggins said that along with making the toughest decision in his life–his college choice–he also has had something else weighing on his mind. While other kids are worried about texting and Twerking, Huggins told SDS that he wants to have a “plan” for his life. He said he asks himself every day what is the plan for his life.
“I’m only 16 and as a 16-year old I realize I probably shouldn’t be worrying about all of that maybe this early, but I would love to know what my purpose in life is,” Huggins told SDS. “There are so many good people here around Orangeburg, you know, but so many are into drugs and alcohol and girls and there’s so many distractions and they get caught up in it. I would love to be a mentor if I become famous in college and if I make it to the NFL. I think I would like to be one of those NFL guys who goes to charity events and speaks to kids. That’s how I see it, that’s the kind of person I am.”
So there you are, SEC fans … if you land Huggins, he’s already given you an idea of the type of kid you’ll receive.
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.