It's not uncommon for football players to make a statement with their hair or grow superstitious beards, but it is unusual for them to turn it into a charitable cause.
Duke senior tight end Brett Huffman had grown his hair out since May 2009, but recently decided to donate it to Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who are under the age of 21 and are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
“The reason I started growing my hair out was because me and the other tight ends decided as a group to separate ourselves from the other position groups,” Huffman said in a prepared release. “That was just a reflection of our personality. We have a wild-man attitude on the field and I think it has worked well for us as a group which is why we did it.”
Huffman battled injuries in his final season at Duke and played in just four games. He had three receptions for 22 yards. He finished his career with 36 catches for 363 yards and four touchdowns in 40 games with 21 starts.
He might have just made his biggest impact, though, off the field.
Huffman said he had heard about Locks of Love from friends and people who had previously donated -- mostly women, of course. He went to Intaglio Salon, one of the local businesses that participates in the program.
“After the North Carolina game it meant the end of the season and the end of my college career," he said. "I decided it was the end of an era and time for a change and buzz my hair. What would be better than to donate it to an awesome cause?
“I just hope that my hair makes one little boy happy and that he wants to become a football player,” said Huffman. “I couldn’t be happier with my decision to do this.”
Duke fans should feel the same.