3 things to know about Cincinnati Bengals No. 33 overall pick Tee Higgins

Sal Maiorana
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
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The Cincinnati Bengals selected Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins with the No. 33 overall pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are three things to know about Higgins.

1. Mother battled drug addiction

Higgins’ mother, Camillia Stewart, fought drug addiction for 16 years, and during that time in her life she suffered a gunshot to the head during an altercation with her dealer/boyfriend in 2005. She served a four-month jail sentence in 2007 but has since turned her life around.

“Back when I was younger I was in and out of a house with my aunt because my mom was addicted to drugs, she was in and out of prison, so I didn’t really grow up with her as much,” Higgins said. “Her boyfriend shot her twice when I was in kindergarten, and just seeing her go through the struggles that she did, it was just something like no other. I don’t wish that on anybody.”

2. Master of the 50-50 ball

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Tee Higgins (5) runs against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Saivion Smith (4).

One of the key attributes NFL receivers need is the ability to make contested catches, and Higgins believes that’s something he can provide.

“I’m a tall receiver and I’m gonna win a 50-50 ball, 80-20 my way,” he said. “I use my basketball background to help me with those balls, you know boxing out, but if I’m obviously behind a defender I just use my jumping ability for like a rebound. That’s a feeling like no other, taking a ball from a guy that’s defending you. It’s like I won, I beat you that play.”

3. Hot Wheels were his go-to toy

The miniature cars became his favorite toy when he was a kid because he had access to them. 

“At a young age in boys club league, I didn’t want to be out there because it was so hot and I didn’t want to be out there with all the pads on, and my aunt bribed me saying that if you score at least two touchdowns I will buy you five Hot Wheels cars,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh two, that’s it?’ So I went out there and scored two like every game. After every game I would go straight to Walmart and get Hot Wheels cars.”

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