Forsyth County's first football commitment of the summer has taken its premier player off the recruiting trail.
West Forsyth's Eli Huggins committed to Kansas State on Tuesday, announcing his decision in the evening on Twitter.
“First, I want to thank all of the people who have helped me get to where I am today,” Huggins said. “Without God, my family, coaches and friends I could have never made it this far.
“I have decided to commit to Kansas State! I can't wait to see what the future holds!”
Huggins, a 6-foot-6 defensive end who can play multiple techniques along the defensive line, had recently made his third visit to North Carolina State—the other power five program that was officially asking for his services. Kansas State is still led by Bill Snyder, who is entering his 25thyear in Manhattan, Kansas and has a career record of 193-101-1. The Wildcats have 44 wins in the last five seasons but were just 6-7 last year.
"I'm pumped. It's an experience of a lifetime to play for a historic coach like Bill Synder," Huggins said.
Huggins had 21 Division I offers on the table, including Ivy League schools in Brown and Columbia, service academies in Air Force, Army and Navy, as well as mail from many mid-major level programs. He said his top two offers came down to North Carolina State and Kansas State, but that he preferred the opportunity to play on the defensive line--North Carolina State wanted him to play offensive line, a position he only played sparingly in high school.
Last season as a junior Huggins led the team in tackles with 68—something unheard of from an end. He also registered 11 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks, trailing in the county only by Harvard-signee Cameron Kline.
Huggins received his first offer from Bucknell just three months ago, but recruitment picked up at a rapid pace as the spring turned to summer. Huggins made his first official visit to Kansas State in early June.
With Huggins leading the charge, West finished 7-4 last season—falling in the first round of the playoffs to Peachtree Ridge. The newly-minted Kansas State commit will lace it up for the first time in his senior season on Aug. 19 at Woodstock.
Huggins told the Forsyth County News last week that he planned on making his commitment before the season so he could sign early. He will finish high school in December and plans to enroll early at Kansas State.
"The environment up there is second to none," Huggins said. "The city of Manhattan is something else, the tradition around there is awesome. Everyone who lives there is a die hard Kansas State fan and I can't wait to be a part of that."