Oct. 13, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- During fall camp, Jarred Haggins' name was on the tip of everyone's tongue.
If head coach Jimbo Fisher wasn't singing his praises for yet another strong effort on the practice fields, it was the sophomore wide receiver's teammates who were pointing him out as being a player they were expecting big things from this season.
After a freshman year that saw him catch just one pass for four yards, Haggins said throughout camp that his intense work ethic was the catalyst behind his offseason ascension up the depth chart and the reason he was in position to be a legitimate offensive factor in his second season.
That same work ethic he used in the gym and on the field would come in handy just three games into the season. Against Oklahoma, Haggins suffered a broken right hand that would require the surgical insertion of three screws and consequential rehabilitation period.
The doctors told Haggins that he would be sidelined up to six weeks. Haggins told them he needed half that time.
And he meant it.
Haggins will make his return to game action Saturday at Duke. It will mark exactly three weeks since he suffered the injury.
"I can't wait. I honestly can't," Haggins said. "Every day I go to practice this week, my heart goes to racing like it's the game because I'm just happy to be back out there. I literally ran to the practice field and just did some stretches, dapping up all my teammates with them telling me, 'I'm glad you're back out there. We're ready for you to be back on the field.' So I'm pretty excited."
Haggins said that he didn't know he had broken his hand until after the loss to the Sooners. He even watched film to see if he could determine when the injury occurred but the tape didn't provide any answers.
There's no question as to why his healing process moved so smoothly and quickly.
"Sometimes you'd just see him sitting around the house watching TV and just constantly working and stretching his hand out so you could tell how bad he wanted to be back out there helping us get back on track," said Christian Green, who not only plays wide receiver with Haggins but is also his roommate. "He's definitely a tough guy. He loves football and he loves being around the team. I wasn't surprised that he came back this quickly knowing how mentally and physically tough he is."
Haggins' return further bolsters what has been FSU's top positional unit during a disappointing start to the 2011 season.
The Lakeland, Fla. native grabbed 11 catches for 94 yards before the injury and rejoins a Seminoles passing attack that ranks 13th in the nation and first in the ACC with an average of 325.4 yards per game.
At Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., FSU will try to end its three-game losing streak against a Blue Devils team that conversely ranks 106th in the country in pass defense.
"It's been tough but I think we are going to be able to get it together pretty soon," Haggins said.