2008 Profile: Chris Tolliver & Justin Higgins

Rayville High School featured the top passing and receiving combo in Louisiana this past season and that deadly duo will be one of the top tandems in the South for the Class of 2008.

Louisiana fans are very familiar with Chris Tolliver and Justin Higgins but the rest of the country will know about them as well with all eyes will turning to the crop for 2008.

 

Tolliver, a 6-1, 180-pound wide out with 4.4 speed, led the state in receiving last year with 67 catches for 1,413 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers earned him several post-season awards including a spot on the Class 3A All-State squad.

 

Defensive backs had fits trying to stop Tolliver as a junior and Rayville head coach Bo Barton told us why.

 

"Speed," Barton said. "That is what makes him so hard to stop. The kid is going to run a 10.5 or better in the 100 (meters) and he runs a 4.3 (40). The kid can fly and there is no other way to explain it. He doesn't drop balls either. He is a tough guy and is so good after the catch. The kid catches an eight or nine yard pass and when you look up he is gone."

Speed may be Tolliver's biggest asset but don't think for one minute that he is soft.

"The kid will catch it in traffic even if he is going to take a lick," Barton explained. "He can beat you on the outside but he also loves to use that body on slants and going across the middle. He will do it all."

 

According to Barton, Tolliver is already being courted by every school in the SEC in addition to some Big IIX powers such as Oklahoma and Nebraska. He doesn't have an offer yet but that will change real soon.

Over the past two years, Barton has had two of his players commit to LSU before they started their senior year.

Is there a chance that Tolliver could follow that same path?

"I expect coach Miles to offer him on Feb. 24 when we go down for junior day," Barton said. "If we get down there and he gets that offer then I think he may commit then."

 

For Tolliver to put up those startling numbers he has to have a triggerman on the other end and that is where Higgins comes into play.

 

Higgins (6-0, 185, 4.5) was the Class 3A MVP and earned his spot on the squad as an athlete.

 

For the season, the talented gunslinger completed over 53 percent of his tosses and passed 3,393 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

 

A lot of college offenses are operating more out of the spread offense and that may help Higgins earn a scholarship at the position he has grown to love.

"He's a spread guy," said Barton. "He is very accurate and very composed but his athleticism is phenomenal. I think with his height he could play quarterback at like a La. Tech or somewhere else that runs a spread offense."

While there may be a question as to whether Higgins can play under center at the major college level, Barton feels that he could definitely find a spot on the other side of the ball.

"He's so athletic that I think he would be a great safety," said Barton. "He is very physical and you can tell that when you watch him run with the ball. I think he could go into the SEC and play strong safety and do it very well. He's getting a lot of looks too right now because they see him make plays on film and realize the kid can play somewhere."

Barton said that having his tandem back for another year is big for the Rayville program but only if the kids approach things the right way.

"You're excited but the caution light comes on," he explained. "You have to make sure they know that they will have to work hard to get the same results. The good thing is that they both know that and they are ready to work hard to achieve the same results they did as juniors."

 

 

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