Fire destroyed UL football senior Bennie Higgins' family home and you can help

Tim Buckley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald (7) sprints into the end zone for a touchdown between Louisiana-Lafayette defenders Bennie Higgins (15) and Corey Turner (6) during the first half of their NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

A UL football player needs help after a fire destroyed the home he lived in with his fiancé and their two children.

A GoFundMe fundraising campaign created Friday for Ragin' Cajuns defensive lineman Bennie Higgins has raised about $1,500 of the $10,000 sought to help the senior starter from Greenwood, Mississippi. 

“On Thursday August 15 a fire swept through his family’s apartment," according to the GoFundMe page Higgins Family Fire Recovery Fund created by Friends of Bennie Higgins. “While his two children, family, and fiancé are safe, a great deal of damage occurred to the contents of his apartment.

“The recovery for this student athlete will be a long process. While assistance is being given by the university through the NCAA Student Assistance Fund, more assistance will be needed.

"Donations to this fund are appreciated but so are in-kind donations to help the family get back up on their feet," the fundraising appeal states. “In the event of an in-kind donation, please reach out to the Ragin Cajuns Director of Football Operations Troy Wingerter, (337) 482-6318, in order to help facilitate and ensure NCAA compliance for the student-athlete.

“All help is appreciated! Thank you and God Bless!"

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Katie Turner, UL’s director of on-campus recruiting, tweeted Friday about the situation, writing, “Bennie Higgins, one of our seniors, had a fire sweep through his apartment last night, leaving considerable damage. Please consider donating so that he, his fiancé and two children can get back on their feet!!!”

Higgins started all 14 games as a junior last season, finishing with 7.5 tackles for loss including 4.5 sacks — second-best among team-leaders in all categories.

During one key three-game stretch late in the season, he had seven-tackle outings against South Alabama, UL Monroe and Appalachian State.

A transfer from Mississippi Delta Community College, he had 12 tackles over 11 games for the Cajuns in 2017.

Higgins is expected to play a key role on the UL d-line in 2019, which opens for the Cajuns with an Aug. 31 game against Mississippi State at the Superdome in New Orleans.