When the 2014 high school football season began, Carlos Huggins was mostly a skilled and slightly undersized linebacker, but that changed when the Eagles running back depth chart was bitten by the injury bug.
Huggins stepped in, stepped up, took the job and became one of the best running backs in the county in a matter of months. Huggins carved up defenses running for 1,028 yards on the season with a 7.7 yards per carry average and 11 touchdowns.
“I kind of just saw the spot up for grabs so I just took it. I made the best out of it. It’s a position I always wanted since middle so I finally got the opportunity and I took the chance I got,” Huggins said.
That opportunity has earned Huggins a free education as he signed with Methodist University on Friday for the chance to play at the next level, one that he and his family view as a stepping stone to something bigger.
“Carlos has always loved football. It’s the only sport he has really put all of himself into,” Ann-Marie Huggins, Huggins’ mother, said. “I remember when he was in the junior league he wanted to quit. And one coach said to [me], ‘Don’t let him quit. Don’t let him quit. Just let him keep going on, he’s gonna do good. Real good.’ I can begin to see just part of the horizon for that I’m hoping it will go farther than that.”
Ann-Marie, Carlos’s sister Shantell and Janeria Willis a close friend of the family have watched Carlos grow into the young man that he has become.
“It’s a blessing and it’s bittersweet,” Willis said of how it feels to watch Huggins sign his letter of intent to go to college.
“Overall he’s a sweet kid. He’s caring,” Willis added. “He has a heart of compassion and I know he’ll do good because he lives, eats and breathes football. So with his character being good he’ll show good leadership.”
“I think it’s the best possible thing,” Shantell Huggins said.
Carlos says that he went to visit a few colleges before visiting Methodist, but when he visited he fell in love with the campus and the coach.
“When I went to the campus I saw how much of a great coach they had which has a big impact toward me on how he teaches us on how to study and basically discipline is a main thing with that coach,” Carlos Huggins said. “I just loved the area and I just wanted to get out of the state really and that’s a great football team for me.”