Senior receives recognition from HERO Sports

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University of Indianapolis senior wide receiver and team captain Malik Higgins was recently voted best wide receiver in the GLVC by voters through HERO Sports. The online vote, while unofficial, serves as a recognition of Higgins by other players, spectators and fans in the league.

Photo Contributed by UIndy Athletics

Recently voted as the best wide receiver in the GLVC through a poll given by HERO Sports, senior wide receiver and team captain Malik Higgins was given public recognition for his efforts on the field. According to Higgins, the support and recognition from players and fans was reassuring as his collegiate career comes to a close.

“It’s great to know that I’m acknowledged by my peers,” Higgins said. “It just really shows the hard work that I’ve put into perfecting my craft, shows on the field when I go out there on Saturdays.”

Head Football Coach Bob Bartolomeo said that Higgins is not only an exceptional player, but leader on the team.

“He’s obviously a great receiver for us, very worthy of the award,” Bartolomeo said. “But besides being a great player, he’s a team captain, a leader, a guy who works hard.”

Originally from Henderson, Kentucky, Higgins said that he chose to attend college in Indianapolis because of the “sense of family” he felt with the team. According to Higgins, it was immediately apparent that he had come to the right place.

“When you come up on the visit, everybody just kind of accepts you immediately. They’re really friendly and open and they kind of welcome you with open arms—just make you a part of the family, honestly. So that was great, for me to come up here and get that love,” Higgins said. “I kind of just fell in love with it immediately.”

Higgins quickly became a standout player on the team once he enrolled as a freshman, according to Receiver Coach Colin Coffer. Coffer began working with Higgins after coming to UIndy in 2016 from Ball State University. As a former recruiter, he was already familiar with Higgins’ talent and said has enjoyed watching Higgins grow as a player.

“[Higgins] is fun, vocal, likes to joke around, high energy and loves the game, so that makes him easier to coach,” Coffer said. “He’s worked at [football] for a long time and he’s been a staple in the GLVC for a long time. Being top five in career receptions, yards and touchdowns is an awesome accomplishment.”

When Higgins graduates in May, he said he hopes to continue playing football professionally. If those plans do not follow through, he said he plans to stay in Indianapolis and find a career related to his sports management major. For now, Higgins said he is focused on finishing his final season strong and helping prepare younger players who will take his place.

“I always try to come with a hard work ethic, first class manner,” Higgins said. “So that young guys see, ‘this is a team captain, this is what he’s doing to have success, so if we follow that same pattern, then we can be just as successful if not more successful.’”

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