There comes a time in the NFL where there is a player that no one expects of him to be a star or make an impact anywhere for his team. Countless times, we have seen players who make a difference despite being a drafted late in the NFL Draft and being expected to not do anything for his team.

Guys like Terrell Davis, Terrell Owens, Robert Mathis and so many other guys have made an impact with their teams despite being drafted late in the NFL Draft or not being drafted at all.

Then there are some players who did nothing in their first year and made some impact in their second year. Nobody is really like that, but there is someone that comes to mind who is exactly like that. Fellas, let me introduce you to Johnnie Lee Higgins.

Coming out of Texas-El Paso, he was drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He didn't make any amount of impact in his first season of playing due to the fact some people doubted him. He was small, too, being 5'11" and 185 pounds.

In his first season, he recorded six receptions for only 46 yards. It wasn't good, not good at all. He did receive some time in punt-returning as he notched 103 yards. But that wasn't all good either because every punt return was averaged for about five yards.

It's just horrible to see that. But yet, he was a third-round pick and nobody really expected anything out of him. It is sad to see things like these happen in the National Football League.

Now it was time for the crucial second season. It was time for Johnnie to prove he was worthy of being on Oakland Raiders' roster. He is the future receiver for this offense. He is the target for not only JaMarcus Russell, but the future of the return the black as well.

Entering into weeks one and two the 2008-09 NFL season, nothing came out of Higgins. Just nothing at all for number 15. We then trip on a rock into week three of playing with a brown ball.

Here we see Higgins making his first ever impact for not only the Oakland Raiders, he had to do it for himself and proving to all NFL fans that he is an NFL player that deserves respect in this league.

Although Raider fans weren't happy in the 24-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Higgins created a spark for Oakland as he showed what he can do as he provided an 84-yard touchdown. It truly showed that Higgins deserved to be drafted by the Raiders.

However, it was only one catch he recorded for the Raiders that game. Despite that, it showed that Higgins was going to get playing time this year. And he did coming into next week recording four catches for 35 yards. The week after that, he only had one catch for 35 yards.

Basically, it wasn't that all surprising in the two games after the 84-yard touchdown game. People were thinking it was somewhat rather disappointing actually.

Coming into week seven of NFL football, the Raiders beat Brett Favre and the New York Jets, 16-13. Higgins did not take part in that astonishing win, but did take place in the rushing, recording an 18-yard run.

All we know is that he was getting shots at playing, but not enough to prove he's a star. Coming into the 29-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, it became more of disappointment as Higgins reeled in two catches for only 16 yards.

His statistics were getting lower and were getting less surprising. What Higgins had to do now was be nothing less than legendary. That was his goal.

But that goal never came until week twelve of NFL football when he came and made an amazing return for a touchdown in the Raiders 31-10 rout against the Denver Broncos. In week 14, he finally had shots on the receiving end of play.

He had placed two catches for 22 yards. Although you may think it's not good at all, it was a start of something new as next week showed how Higgins rolled.

In the 49-26 loss to the New England Patriots, Higgins had three catches for 66 yards, including an exciting play for Raider fans that witnessed the amazing 56-yard touchdown by Higgins. The exciting play displayed Higgins' speed and concentration.

Higgins was truly nothing less than legendary in the last three games of the 2008-09 season, resulting a 2-1 record the Raiders themselves as well. Higgins also had three touchdowns in his last three games also.

In the 27-16 win over the Houston Texans, Higgins had three grabs for 56 yards and one touchdown. In the last game of the season, Higgins had a career-high in catches with six, along with 52 yards and a touchdown.

Yep, it was definitely nothing less than legendary for Higgins.

He had 22 catches for 366 yards and four touchdowns that year. What was better is that every catch was averaged for about 17 yards, which is solid. He was also well known in his return abilities, notching 842 yards in kick returns and 570 yards and three touchdowns on punt returns.

It was truly an exciting thing to see, although I did observe from many stat sheets of Higgins that he only started three games. So having those stats while only starting three games is truly an honor actually.

So that brings to what is going to happen next year in the 2009-10 season. The Raiders recently just got Darrius Heyward-Bey, who looks to be a helpful and speedy receiver for JaMarcus Russell. There is also the tall, fast, and indestructible Chaz Schilens and the exciting Zach Miller.

It also adds up with Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, and Michael Bush leading the way in the running game. Right now, the Raiders have a lot of targets on offense and Higgins takes big and key role in all of it.

He can return the ball, he can run, he can catch, he can just about anything you want him to do. Although Heyward-Bey can do that, the hands have to improve. I have to admit, Higgins is better than DHB, and I hope some people have to agree with that.

And also, have any of you NFL fans ever seen highlights of him? Remember that 56-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots. That was truly an amazing play. And seriously, what about that 90-yard touchdown against Seattle?

You can't deny that. Higgins has been making a name for himself and I think he already has in Oakland. Can he make it bigger? Can he be Mr. Hot-Shot? We'll see next year.

So when you watch the Raiders play, NFL fans, grab a beer and watch out for Johnnie Lee Higgins next year.

This article can also be seen at
BallHype: hype it up!


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!