Former Orangeburg-Wilkinson and Clemson defensive lineman Albert Huggins has been signed by the NFL champion New England Patriots.
Huggins took the roster spot previously occupied by kicker Kai Forbath, who was waived Monday after playing one game with the team.
In a report by nesn.com, Patriots coach Bill Belichick explained what the team saw in Huggins during a Tuesday morning conference call:
“He’s obviously a young player, rookie player that we evaluated last year in the draft out of Clemson. He’s a pretty big kid — 6-3ish, somewhere in that ballpark, over 300 pounds," Belichick said. "He had a little bit of playing time for Philadelphia and was with Houston earlier in the year, so we’ve had a couple different looks at him.
"We only had five defensive linemen on our roster, and he was on waivers, so we’ll take a look at him and see how it goes. I don’t know.”
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Undrafted in April, the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Clemson product spent the spring, summer and early fall with the Houston Texans. The Philadelphia Eagles then signed Huggins, a two-time national champion, off Houston’s practice squad and to the 53-man roster toward the end of October.
Huggins appeared in four games with Philadelphia to record three tackles. The rookie saw eight snaps on defense and two snaps on special teams against New England last month.
With Huggins, New England’s active interior defensive line now stands at five. Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton, Adam Butler and fifth-round draft choice Byron Cowart are the others in the mix
At Clemson, the 22-year-old was part of a dominant Clemson defensive line that also featured 2019 first-round draft picks Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell. Huggins finished his four-year collegiate carer with 69 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and one interception in 34 games.
The Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Gillette Stadium on CBS television at 4:25 p.m.