‘It’s been a dream since I came out of the womb’
HE might not have been book smart, but when it comes to football smarts Jack Higgins looks a genius.
The 19-year-old dropped out of his final year of high school to focus on his football in 2017, a move which raised eyebrows among some club recruiters.
The result was that Higgins slipped through to pick No.17 in last year's draft and the early indications are the Tigers might have got themselves an absolute steal.
In just his second game last night, the small forward kicked three of Richmond's five first half goals on the big stage at the MCG.
Two were from clever crumbs close to goal - one which he showed rocket-like speed to pounce on - and the other came from a super set shot snap on the boundary line.
Higgins should have had a goal assist to his name in the opening half as well, if not for a Jacob Townsend fumble on the goal line.
The young star said he still pinched himself playing in front of huge crowds.
"It has always been a goal of mine since I can remember. Me and Dad, friends and mates at school, we'd always kick the footy around," he told 3AW.
"It's been a dream ever since I came out of the womb.
"Playing the sport I love in front of 80,000 people, I wouldn't change it for the world."
Some of the little things from Higgins also impressed.
He regularly finds himself in the right spots, rarely wastes a disposal and has enormous composure for a player so new to the big league.
Dropped after kicking two goals in his first game, it is hard to see that happening again after seven score involvements among 13 disposals against the Demons.
"I struggled probably in the first month with the game plan and stuff, because I'm probably not the best learner," he said.
"But I've learned a heap off Jack Riewoldt and the boys - the small forwards - I couldn't have done it without them."
A Rising Star nomination is coming and the decision to leave school doesn't look a bad one as a lengthy football career looms.