Video games earn Higgins' son scholarship

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 8:11 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Through his entire life, Thomas Higgins has worked hard to live up to his name.

Now, the son of Calgary Stampeders coach Tom Higgins can say he also went to a big U.S. college team on a full scholarship, just like his father did more than three decades ago.

But Thomas Higgins isn't going to Sacramento State to be a football player.

He accepted a scholarship yesterday to be the team's video co-ordinator, going from the pros back to college.

"My grandfather played in the NFL and my dad played in the NFL so that's a tough name to live up to," said the 20-year-old, who is technically Thomas Higgins III.

"I told them I might get to the NFL eventually, too, just not as a player."

This was a whirlwind week for Higgins. As the Stamps video assistant, he helped the team get ready to face the Edmonton Eskimos tonight at Commonwealth Stadium tonight.

He won't see the game. After setting up computers in the team hotel last night, he hopped a bus back to Calgary to pack for a flight today to Sacramento.

He joins his new team tomorrow and training camp starts on Monday. It was only fitting he was in Edmonton when he got the call because Eskimos QB Ricky Ray is one of the more famous Sac State alums.

"Half the excitement is the unknown," Higgins said. "I'm flying into a city I've never been to, going to a practice field I've never seen and start to run a video program.

"It's football and I know football. I know my video stuff and I know I will be fine."

Higgins is the second Stamps video assistant to get a college scholarship through a mentorship program set up by Stamps video co-ordinator Ross Folan.

A year ago, Dan Dmytrisin went to Northern Arizona University to set up their video program and had great success. Folan hopes to attract more students who are interested in working in football but who are not necessarily athletes.

Video technology is crucial to a football coach's work and Higgins will be helping Sacramento State take its program into the digital age.

He will work with three assistants to tape practices and games and then cut and sort plays into offence, defence and special teams and make DVDs for the coaches. His team will play Dmytrisin's this season in the Big Sky Conference.

Higgins played football throughout his life but has found his niche in video and web technology.

"I honestly thought about playing or maybe being a coach," Higgins said. "I never thought about being in video until Ross offered me the job last year.

"My dad couldn't be any more happier right now. I asked him a long time ago what was the best decision he ever made. It was a very spiritual question. He said it was to go away and attend school.

"Ever since he told me that, I've wanted to live on my own and go to school. Now I have that opportunity and he shares my excitement. It's going to be a great time."


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