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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Seth Henigan Interview: Heisman hype, high expectations for Memphis and playing for his father in high school

By meerna Jun12,2024

Seth Henigan didn’t wait long to start preparing for a college football career in Memphis. The day after winning the state championship at Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, he traveled to Memphis to start the fall semester as an early enrollee.

Since then, it has been moving fast.

He could be traveling in some exclusive company this season as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

It’s not a topic Henigan likes to dwell on. His No. 1 goal is undoubtedly to help Memphis win the American Athletic Conference title, but Heisman talk is inevitable. And Henigan has no one to blame but himself.

He put himself in this position after a stellar junior season in which Memphis went 10-3. He completed 67% of his passes for 3,880 yards, 32 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 274 yards and five scores.

Henigan made a strong final impression, completing 24 of 34 passes for 364 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions during Memphis’ 36-26 victory over Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. For good measure, he also rushed for 27 yards and a TD.

No wonder he was named bowl MVP and offensive player of the game in Memphis.

It also marked the fifth time in 108 seasons that Memphis recorded 10 or more wins.

“It’s crazy to think about it,” Henigan said of the Heisman hype in an interview with HERO Sports. “I never even thought about it and kind of laughed it off when it was mentioned, but this year, you know, anything is possible.”


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Henigan believes that if he is a Heisman contender, it will be because of the success Memphis is having.

“The sky is the limit for our team,” he said. “I think we have a lot of talent at the next level.”

According to Henigan, the fact that this is such an experienced team, with some strong additions, could make it a successful season for the Tigers.

“A lot of our guys had offers from Power Four schools that had transfer money, so I think we’re a Power Four school that’s on schedule,” he said. “So many guys had the opportunity to leave and go somewhere else, but they chose to come back and play for our program and this team.”

He said he thinks keeping the team virtually intact is a credit to head coach Ryan Silverfield and his staff.

“Being able to keep these guys, this is a really talented team and that’s why we’re expected to win a lot of games,” Henigan said.

In his first three seasons, Henigan appeared in 36 games and completed 64% of his passes for 10,366 yards, 77 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He also rushed for 705 yards and eight TDs.

Despite all this experience, Henigan, who won’t turn 22 until March, never considered missing out on his final college season for the NFL Draft.

“I don’t think it was taken into account. I just turned 21 and I have another year to develop my body,” said the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Henigan. Plus we have a really good team coming back and that was obviously a big reason.

“Honestly, I don’t think about it. “It’s too far,” he said about the 2025 NFL Draft. I just need to play well this season and see where my chances lie.

Henigan’s experience playing for his father at Denton Ryan

Henigan was a three-star prospect out of Denton Ryan High School, where he played for his father, Dave, who is still Ryan’s head coach.

“I always knew I was better than people thought I had talent,” he said. “I thought I was better.”

Henigan noted that playing for his father was a great experience. Their last game together was a 59-14 victory over Cedar Park in the Class 5A Division I title game at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. This finished the season 15-0.

“He was great at balancing being a tough coach and being tough on me, holding me to the standard I said I wanted and at the same time being a dad,” Henigan said. He did a great job molding me into a man and a soccer player and set me on a path to success in both soccer and life.”

On that note, Henigan already earned a degree in business management last fall. No doubt NFL teams will see this as an advantage. He graduated from high school in three and a half years and college in three years.

Henigan, Memphis aiming for victory

It’s a year with a lot of personal and team expectations, but Henigan insists on taking it all in stride.

“I’m sure there are (high expectations), but I don’t really feel them just because I’m actually acting,” he said. “At the end of the day, there should be (high expectations) just because of what we did last year and the talent we have back.”

He will leave all the noise to others. There are too many things to focus on while leading the Tigers’ high-octane offense.

“I’m just trying to go about my business and deal with the day-to-day things that need to be taken care of to be successful,” he said.

And then, after a pause, he added, “but we should expect to win games this year.”

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