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2022 Early Signing Period: Mike Higgins Signs With Rutgers Football

Tight End’s stock rose considerably in 2021.

Rutgers v Ohio State
A big time Tight End like Kroft can do a lot for an offense.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Mike Higgins had only been committed since October 30 and made it official Wednesday. Signing the 3-star prospect project adds important upside to the 2022 recruiting class for Greg Schiano and the coaching staff.

247 Sports Composite Ranking: 3-star; 31st in NJ; 82nd TE

High School Position: TE (6’6”, 230 lbs.)

Projected college position: Tight End

High School: Blair Academy

Hometown: Ramsey, NJ

Most notable other offers: Monmouth

Higgins only had one Power Five offer, though Big Ten Champion Michigan was sniffing around of late. The lack of recruiting attention was mostly due to the fact that he played three sports at Don Bosco which limited his spring football and camp attendance. Mike took a similar post-grad year at Blair to what current Tight End Victor Konopka did, who also played basketball for the Ironmen. In addition to having played football, basketball, and baseball with several other current Rutgers players, Mike’s father, Mike Sr., played baseball for RU so the connection is quite strong. On the field, Mike Jr. plays mostly as a wide receiver where he requires defenses to roll their coverage toward him on every play since he is impossible to jam with his long arms. As a pass catcher, his catch radius is better low than high, though over time you can see how his ability to snatch high throws has improved tremendously this year. When he does line up as an in-line tight end, rarely do defenses even put someone head up on him so he gets a lot of free releases and easy catches over the middle since he is such a big target. His route tree seems rather limited so there is plenty of improvement that could be made in this area with the additional college reps and coaching. Higgins as a blocker and receiver against tight coverage is purely speculation at this point because he is bigger and stronger than all his opponents now, which will not be true in the Big Ten.

The Rutgers Wide receivers other than Bo Melton regressed in 2021, but the tight ends didn’t fill the need in the passing game. At times Jovani Haskins, Johnny Langan, Matt Alaimo, and Victor Konopka all flashed with big catches though there was never a consistent output despite all the time and effort that was put in during spring practice to get them more involved. Was it that they were called upon to block too often? Being decoys on the pass routes they did run? Bad quarterback play? Bad route running? It’s hard to say, but continuing to add long, athletic types will keep buying lottery tickets that could end up with a superstar at the position for the first time since Tyler Kroft. The quickest way to turn a weak passing game into a competent one is using TEs who can catch balls in traffic. RU takes another crack at it in 2022.

Floor: Jesse Cisco

Most likely: Nick Arcidiacono

Potential: Tyler Kroft

Check out his highlights below:

Stick with On the Banks all day for more National Signing Day coverage.