Iowa’s Jay Higgins was patient - now he’s one of the nation’s top linebackers
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa linebacker Jay Higgins waited his turn behind Jack Campbell, and now it is his time shine - and boy is he shining.
Higgins is second in the nation averaging 12.6 tackles per game.
With 113 stops he is climbing the list on the Iowa all-time single season tackling chart. But he is not about to look at those numbers.
“My dad shows me the list and as soon as I see the title I immediately just swipe out of it,” he said. “It is one of those things where I don’t want my focus to be there. I feel like that will severely affect my play if I am more worried about gaining tackles then helping the defense get off the field.”
Just like 2022 Butkus Award winner Jack Campbell, Higgins is all about the team. His favorite defensive moment this season, without question, was the goal line stand against Northwestern.
“The goal line stand is everything a linebacker dreams,” Higgins said. “Jumbo personell, bring in extra defensive linemen, and get all those DB’s off the field. You were just having fun at that point.”
All good linebackers have great instincts and a nose for the football, and Higgins definitely has that.
“Football is just one of those things that comes natural,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m the smartest guy but when it comes to football comes easy.”
Higgins was named one of 12 finalists for the 2023 Butkus Award earlier this week.
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