Like most stories, mine can’t be told without taking a look at my upbringing.
I come from a family of football players, so when I think about my beginnings, I think of my grandfather Mike Henigan, who played football for NIU and won a conference title in 1946 with the Huskies.
I think of my father, Dave Henigan, who not only played himself but coached me through high school and helped me become the player I am today.
Both played vital roles in my development, and I’m forever grateful for being a branch of this family tree.
Coming from a football lineage, there can be pressure to perform. The comparison to your family members and being the “coach’s son” comes with a certain expectation, but fortunately, I never felt that from my family.
They never pressured me to be anything but who I wanted to be. If I wanted to stop playing football, that would’ve been fine; they supported me, I had the autonomy to be who Seth Henigan wished to be, and I wanted to be a DI athlete.
Striving for greatness
I still remember having those conversations with my Dad about wanting to go DI. It let him know what my goal was and that I was setting the bar high.
At first, I thought I was well on my way. My high school team was stacked with four-star and five-star recruits, so I thought if we just played hard on gameday, we would win every game.
That reality came crashing down my junior year when we lost the State Championship. I couldn’t believe we didn’t pull it off, but more importantly, I was crushed for our seniors. We didn’t get the job done for them, and they had to live with that loss with no way to avenge it.
That was heartbreaking for me.
And truthfully, to this day, I’d say this was one of the most pivotal moments in my career.
After that, a flip switched.
I was no longer assuming victory, and I became obsessed with working as hard as possible and never letting myself or my team down again.
Every workout, every film session, and every game was about giving my all and having no regrets. It took a painful loss to get there, but thanks to that defeat, my mindset shifted.
And we won the State Championship the following year.
Arriving at Memphis
That title win was so bittersweet and surreal. The sweet part is we ended up on top, and I could ride off into the sunset.
And I mean that literally.
We won the title on January 17, and I arrived on campus on January 18.
I had a seven-hour drive early the following day, so my transition between high school and college has to be the quickest turnaround in NCAA history!
It was so weird to be on the road feeling the satisfaction of victory while heading to a new destination, ready to start a new chapter as a freshman at Memphis, but I did it.
I went from Raider to Tiger in under 24 hours.
I always say I didn’t choose Memphis; Memphis chose me. They were the DI school that always showed me interest and support even before I committed.
I can’t thank Coach Silverfield and his staff enough for being great with me since day one.
It made the decision to come here a no-brainer.
With a little help from my friends
Many say that the first year of college ball is the hardest, but to be honest, I felt like I had a smooth transition. Don’t get me wrong; this is another level.
Players are bigger, stronger, and faster, but our guys are just as big, strong, and fast, so it felt like an even playing field to me.
Having players like wide receiver Calvin Austin and running back Brandon Thomas by my side made things much easier.
My job as QB doesn’t feel so daunting when I have future NFL wide receivers and star running backs by my side, you know?
They helped me acclimate to the offense and allowed us to hit the ground running.
Thanks to my teammates, we got off to a hot start last year. We started the season 3-0, and of all the great memories I have of my first year, I think the win against Mississippi State is the moment that stood out.
It was a game that showed the potential this program has when we click on all cylinders and come to a game with the right attitude.
And, of course, Brandon led the team in rushing, and Austin led the team in receptions that game.
Overall, I was happy with the 2021 campaign but nowhere near satisfied.
We could not play in our bowl game in Hawaii because it was canceled, and while we understand why, it was still a bummer.
We have unfinished work this season, and we have our sights set on getting back to a bowl game and coming out on top.
It’s a long road, and we are just getting started, but I’m entirely focused on taking everything I’ve learned so far and applying it to this 2022 season.
I do this not just for myself but for my father, grandfather, the coaching staff, my teammates, and the community here in Memphis.
This is Memphis football, and despite losing our first game, we are confident in our ability to make things happen this year.