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Justin Higgins ready to continue quarterbacking dominance at Grambling
Any football fan that saw Justin Higgins in a Rayville uniform over the past three years knows he is a playmaker.
Whether Higgins was throwing the ball downfield to the Hornets’ prized receivers or taking the ball and barreling through the line, the three and a half-year high school starter could change the momentum of any game.
Grambling — where Higgins signed a national letter of intent in February — has no doubt Higgins can continue that dominance on the field.
There is just one gray area hanging overhead. Higgins finished his immaculate high school career with a torn ACL in the second round playoff loss to E.D. White last November.
The determined quarterback continued to play on the injury for the remainder of the game and began rehabbing immediately after surgery in December.
“He went from playing football to rehabbing his knee,” Rayville coach Bo Barton said. “The first of May he started running, so I assume he’s in pretty good shape.”
Higgins finished his junior campaign as the leading passer in the state throwing for 3,393 yards and 29 touchdowns to earn Class 3A MVP honors for the state.
As a senior, Higgins continued to put up impressive numbers passing for 2,109 yards and 21 touchdowns to be named the offensive MVP for District 1-3A.
By the time the postseason honors were announced, Higgins had already started his rehabilitation process.
“He’s full speed and ready to roll,” Barton said. “By the end of May, he was about 95 percent. That boy has been rehabbing since December, and he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s ready to go. He was out in the spring with me and helped the quarterbacks and threw the ball a little bit.”
As Higgins helps the younger quarterbacks at Rayville, he is hoping to get the same instruction from the veterans at Grambling.
“Him (Higgins) and I talked and I said, ‘You need to go in there and learn as much from (Grambling starter) Brandon Landers,’” Barton said. “He’s been there four years and knows the system – go in and learn. I told him, ‘Be ready if whenever you’re called on, but be a good follower and if you need to be a leader, go in there and step up.’”
Higgins reported in June to the Grambling campus to begin summer courses and get a feel for the college life.
“He’s in summer school to get a head start on everything,” Barton said. “He’s looking forward to getting started at Grambling and looking forward to learning as much as he can.”
By Tabby Soignier • email@example.com • July 11, 2008
Monroe News Star