John Higgins: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: John Higgins
School: Ferris State University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
Some goals that I set for my final season were to be a National Champion, All-American, and be the best leader and player I could be to help my team be successful. I was able to accomplish being a National Champion with my teammates as well as being named 1st Team All-Conference (GLIAC) and D2CCA All-Region. I also reached the milestone of having an overall career record of 75-7 while at Ferris State.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I feel that I took advantage of this extra year of eligibility by getting stronger, faster, and establishing why I can play at the next level. I was able to focus on my training in the offseason by working out at Evolve Performance Training Center in Wisconsin, where I focused on preparing my body to be at peak performance for this past season. This season gave me the chance to showcase my abilities and play on the field and off the field again, and I believe I can benefit any team or organization.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
I believe that my coaches would say that I am hardworking, determined, physical, athletic, and a grinder. They would say that I am someone who is very dedicated, loyal, humble, committed, and selfless as well. I think that over my time at Ferris State, my relationship with the coaches was true and genuine and I can say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for their guidance and leadership.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
When breaking down film I start by looking at the overall play and looking for any signs that could give away what the play is going to be, such as the formation or any signals/checks. I look to see where the tight ends are lining up and if they are more of run blockers or route runners. I look to see if the tackles have slow feet, heavy hands, tendency of leaning, or if they give anything away while at the line. I continue down to the guards and center from their as well. I also look at any running back tendencies as well as the relationship between the QB and the receivers. This depicts how I align in pre-snap and then ultimately where I will be fitting when the ball is snapped.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I believe what separates me from other pro prospects is my size and athletic ability on the field and my willingness to do whatever and play wherever needed in order to help the team succeed. I am a hard worker, dedicated, committed, and will buy all in to the culture and the brand of the team/organization. What also separates me is my high level of mental toughness and composure when it comes to high pressure situations on and off the field.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I am currently in talks with former Ferris State athletes who are in the NFL or have played in the NFL getting advice on what is best for me on where to train and prepare. I do not have a solidified training place at the moment but I am actively seeking one and plan to have one very shortly.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
On the field I can bring to a team someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. I will be that dependable and reliable special teams player, that will be ready at all times with great effort. From a defensive stand point my strength is setting the edge and being a run stopper. I am also athletic, so I can run with tight ends, running backs, and get into passing windows to make plays. I am player that is dedicated and hardworking and coachable. Off the field I can bring to a team someone who is eager to learn and get better every day. I buy all into to what the culture is and will embrace every day that I get the opportunity to do the thing that I love.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
I am athlete with size and ability, that is willing to do whatever it takes to help benefit the team. I will buy in to the culture/brand and stay committed to the process and journey. I play outside linebacker/ hybrid defensive end but I am willing to be moved around and buy into any role that is needed. I have good hands, can block, and will be a die-hard specials teams guy. You will not be disappointed or wasting a spot on me, I will work for every opportunity given to me.