An offensive lineman from Alliance, Ohio, Zach Higgins became the second (or first? Or third? 'Tis irrelevant at any rate). commitment to the 2012 MSU football recruiting class last Saturday after the Spring game. Seeing as recruit rankings are still coming out, the only stars he has to his name as of this moment are three from Scout. At 6'5" and 305 pounds Higgins currently projects as a guard at the college level, and should stick there barring injuries along MSU's line.
The highlight video is what you would expect from an offensive lineman being recruited by Big Ten schools: he gets off the line quickly, engages the defensive lineman, and introduces his quarry to the turf immediately and without pretense. Do I know if his pad level is where it should be? No. Do I know if his footwork is up to snuff? Once again that'd be a negatory, partly because I know little about proper offensive lineman technique, and partly because it looks like some highlights were filmed from Pennsylvania. Everything looks good to me on Higgins's tape though, and the coaching staff wouldn't be recruiting a player nearly a year away from signing day if they didn't think he could hack it.
It sounds like Michigan State and Ohio State were Higgins's final two choices, but the offer he really wanted never came:
It’s going to come down to Ohio State offering me or not," Higgins said. "I love Michigan State, but being an Ohio kid it’s always been a dream of mine to play (at OSU). I don’t want to let this Michigan State offer go away because they can only take one guard. I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime to wait on a dream."
It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened after that article was written -- Ohio State most likely told Higgins he wasn't going to receive an offer, and that's why you're reading this article here and not on Along The Olentangy, Eleven Warriors, Our Honor Defend, or any of our other favorite Ohio State bros.
Higgins had offers from Cincinnati, Northwestern and West Virginia before he committed to Michigan State, and I wish I had more information for you. I have this bonus highlight video that features "When You Were Young" by the Killers making its first ever appearance in a football highlight video of any kind (probably). That's about all I can find of substance for now, but nevertheless I'm happy that MSU has another offensive lineman. With 16 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster for the 2011 season, three in the 2011 recruiting class, and with only two linemen set to graduate this year (Jared McGaha and Joel Foreman), slots on the OL will be scant for the 2012 class. With Higgins and Benny McGowan committed in 2012, that could leave only one spot open, possibly two depending on attrition and such.
Lastly, I'll close with a quote from Higgins from the article I quoted earlier:
"They’re a Big Ten school," Higgins said. "Like they say, big life, big stage, Big Ten. They were co-Big Ten champs last year, that is pretty sweet."
Pretty sweet indeed.