Tee Higgins stood on a stage inside Nissan Stadium in Nashville and listened to another name get called as the winner of the TSSAA Class 5A Mr. Football Back of the Year award. Higgins accepted his place as runner-up before it was announced that a mix-up on stage happened and Higgins actually won the hardware that comes with being named one of the best backs in Volunteer State.
After a few moments of awkward silence on stage, the Tennessee commit was handed his trophy and beamed with the smile of a job well done.
"It shows that my hard work that I've put in in the offseason has actually paid off," Higgins told InsideTennessee. "Hopefully I can come back next year and win it."
The Scout four-star wide receiver was one of a handful of Tennessee commits nominated for a Mr. Football award, winning with some of his future coaches on hand. Running backs coach Robert Gillespie, linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen and offensive line coach Don Mahoney were all in attendance to see Higgins and company receive their trophies, and the No. 1 wide receiver in the state's 2017 class has been able to watch the staff and its players compete almost every Saturday as Tennessee racked up five consecutive victories to end the season 8-4.
"Since I've committed, I actually like the way they've been playing lately," Higgins said. "Hopefully they get a chance to win the bowl game."
While other schools like Clemson and Florida have continued to court the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder is still solidly committed to Tennessee since verbally pledging his loyalty to the Vols Aug. 24.
The two-sport star just came back from a holiday basketball tournament in the Bahamas with his Oak Ridge team, and is now focused solely on hoops with his football season over. Higgins has discussed playing two sports in college with Vols baskebtall coach Rick Barnes, but hasn't had much discussion about it with Butch Jones and is still undecided on what he might like to do at the next level.
"I'm not sure yet," Higgins told IT. "Football is really coming into my heart now."
Watch this exclusive interview with Higgins as he discusses his commitment to Tennessee and more with InsideTennessee.