Zach Higgins is an Ohio kid, born and raised as a Bucknut who was taught to feel differently about that school in Ann Arbor. But after visiting numerous schools and receiving several scholarship offers, the offensive tackle has decided to attend a university which plays both Ohio State and Michigan in football: Michigan State.
It was a decision made after numerous visits to other schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Cincinnati, and West Virginia, among others. Half-joking that his mom was â€œfreaked outâ€ because of the distance between home and a school far away, he and his entire family were overly impressed by what Michigan State offered â€“ not only on the gridiron, but also in the classroom and in the East Lansing area.
Higgins talked on Spartan Nation Radio about the process of being recruited and going through the big life decision with his family.
â€œIt was awesome, Higgins said. â€œWhen I went up to commit, my family came down the week before and checked everything out. I went up that morning and they were doing a little kidâ€™s camp and I talked to coach (Mark) Staten, and I told him that I wanted to talk to coach (Mark) Dantonio if that was possible. (Staten) asked me, â€˜Do you want to be a Spartan?â€™ and I said, â€˜Heck yeah,â€™ and heâ€™s like, â€˜You gonna be one?â€™ and I said, â€˜Yeah.â€™
â€œ(Staten) took me upstairs and sat down and talked with Coach D for like 10 minutes about [how] he wanted to make sure I was OK, he was real excited. He doesnâ€™t get overwhelmed but heâ€™s got that little smile. It was real cool. It was a big weight off my shoulder with the recruiting process being ended. It was a real great feeling.â€
Higgins said meeting Staten was nice, especially considering that will be the coach who will build him into a real Big Ten lineman. He called Staten a â€œbig dudeâ€ who said he treats his linemen like his own sons, and Higgins liked that fatherly vibe he presented. After meeting a couple coaches and enjoying what he heard in the short time he had with them, he was impressed by other aspects as well.
â€œJust the people, the place and the setting, really,â€ Higgins said, referring to why he chose MSU over all the other schools. â€œThe coaches are great and theyâ€™re just so nice and personal up there. All the players are nice, humble kids andâ€¦itâ€™s just a great place to be.â€
After making his decision, Higgins said he has tried to convince his high school peers to join him as a Spartan. However, he wonâ€™t push them too hard because itâ€™s the same type of treatment he received from Michigan State in the recruiting process. As other big-time football programs try to persuade high school athletes to make a swift decision, MSU takes the foot off the pedal and lets their teenage recruits figure out what is best for their own futures.
â€œIt was good that they just let me make my decision, gave me time and the offer is on the table and everything,â€ Higgins said. â€œIf I wanted to come play for them if it was right, they made it clear that I could.â€
In terms of play on the field, Higgins says he is best at run-blocking because his high school team only averages about seven passes a game. He admits that he needs to become a little more agile and will have to improve his pass-blocking in a diverse Spartans offense.
But those things will come in time, and the coaches have told him to continue his current routine (which includes squatting around 500 pounds) and to stay lean. Higgins, the aspiring physician, should be dissecting opposing linemen when he comes to East Lansing.=Â