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A special Indianapolis homecoming for an Iowa football defensive star



Indianapolis, Indiana – Preparations are on for Indianapolis to host another Big Ten Football Championship game.

The Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2, 7-2) will take on the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (12-0, 9-0) in this year’s game.

The defenses of both clubs are excellent. Additionally, the person in charge of Iowa’s defense has extensive knowledge of Indianapolis.

Jay Higgins, a senior linebacker for Iowa, was born in Indianapolis and expressed this week how excited he is to play in his home state once more.

“Proud of my team for putting themselves in a position like this to play in such a big game,” Higgins said. “Can’t wait to play in front of my family back in Indianapolis.”

His family is eager to see him perform in their hometown as well.

Roy, his father, remembered the moments following Iowa’s victory over Illinois on November 18 to secure a trip to the conference championship game.

“It was so emotional,” said Roy Higgins. “We figured that we had a good shot at it. But once it came to reality, it was just very overwhelming and emotional for me and my family.”

Roy Higgins, along with numerous other friends and family members of Jay, plans to attend the game on Saturday.

“I’m just excited,” said Roy Higgins. “I’m just one proud dad.”

Joyce Higgins, Jay’s grandmother, is one person who will be riveted to the screen instead of going to the game on Saturday.

“This week has just brought everybody together, all the grandbabies, nieces and nephews,” said Joyce Higgins. “I’m also from a large family with 16 siblings. So, people are calling from all the different states — Ohio, Maryland, D.C., Kentucky — just everywhere. Right now, we’re all Iowa fans.”

A large number of people who will be watching Higgins this week are aware of the Iowa linebacker’s exceptional football skills. Higgins still holds the school record for the most tackles in a career despite graduating from Brebeuf in 2020.

“I’d say what I learned at Brebeuf was really just how to communicate with people off the field,” said Jay Higgins. “I feel that that helps me out in my leadership role here on the team. Just having that ability to be able to connect with everybody.”

This year, Higgins leads the Big Ten in tackles with 141, making it evident that he can connect with people.

“It’s just great to see someone who works so hard and has such a great attitude be rewarded in his play,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “And Jay is certainly a good example of that.”

Inside Lucas Oil Stadium, the Big Ten Football Championship kickoff is scheduled for this Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.