RB Karan Higdon carrying a new load for No. 19 Michigan

RB Karan Higdon carrying a new load for No. 19 Michigan
Posted at 4:39 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 16:39:20-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Karan Higdon has been delivering the goods for a long time.

The junior running back posted career highs in carries (25), rushing yardage (200) and touchdowns (three) as No. 19 Michigan beat Indiana 27-20 in overtime on Saturday. Higdon became the first Michigan back to rush for 200 yards in a game since Mike Hart in 2007. Second on the team with 410 rushing yards on a team-high 70 carries, Higdon is steadily emerging as Michigan's go-to back.

"I think it's an important thing not only as a football player, but as a person, to be a high character guy, to be a do-stuff-right guy," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It shows up in all phases of your life. It shows up in the classroom. It shows up on the football field. It shows up in the community. Karan's got a great track record of being a do-stuff-right guy."

Growing up in Sarasota, Florida, Higdon's mother, Samantha, moved the family to another neighborhood where she believed Karan would be offered a better chance to succeed at football and gain the attention of college scouts.

It was a lesson her son took to heart, and this summer, he sought to give others a similar leg up, organizing and operating a football camp for area high school players at his old Pop Warner field where he first played the game.

"I just woke up one day and said, `I want to do a football camp,"' Higdon said. "I connected with some of my buddies who play college football and they said, `Let's do it.' It turned into a big event."

Afterward, Higdon arranged to have film from the camp sent to different schools. He said it paid dividends when a few of the kids were offered scholarships.

Higdon credits his mother for his philanthropic mindset.

"She's always pushed me to give back," Higdon said. "If I get blessed with something, give a blessing to someone else. Now that I'm on a platform to really extend those blessings, why not do it?"

On Saturday, Higdon will get the chance to display his wares against Heisman Trophy contender Saquon Barkley in a visit to No. 2 Penn State.

"Being able to go against him in his house is definitely big for me," Higdon said. "It's going to be time for me to show up and show what I can do.  He's done that, he still continues to do that, and I'm going to show up and show who I am."

The Wolverines will face a stout challenge from the Nittany Lions but quarterback John O'Korn says the team values Higdon in multiple ways.

"He brought an intensity that we all had to match," O'Korn said. "As a football player, that's who you want to be. You want to be somebody that makes everybody around you better, everybody around you play harder."