His father, Gary Higgins, also coached high school football across the state for 30 years. Offensive coordinator Matt Walter also played at NWOSU.
But for some, it's troubling to see an out-of-state school recruit so well.
NWOSU landed 19 Oklahoma players, Central Oklahoma signed 18, Southwestern Oklahoma State added 13 and Southern Nazarene inked 12, but schools like NSU (seven), East Central (seven) and Southeastern Oklahoma State (six) seemed well behind.
UCO and NSU are even MIAA conference members alongside Emporia State. Higgins, however, was quick to point out that a coaching change at NSU slowing down the recruiting process.
“I think they're doing a good job,” Higgins said of UCO and NSU. “I think they're trying to turn their program around. I've been through that time period of trying to turn around a program and it's tough.”
Emporia State's Oklahoma connections
Emporia State's emphasis on recruiting Oklahoma talent reached a new level with the 2014 class.
The Hornets signed 10 players from the state, including some top-level talent. Here is a look at the class and the current makeup of the roster.
2014 SIGNING CLASS
Player; Pos.; Ht.; Wt.; School
Trenton Ball; TE; 6-6; 230; Carl Albert
Justin Brown; WR; 6-2; 195; El Reno
Kai Callins; RB; 5-10; 190; Guthrie
Drew Cook; S; 6-1; 185; Casady
Diesen Gorham; OL; 6-3; 295; Perkins-Tryon
Stephen Hocker; OL; 6-5; 250; Enid
Justin Marchà; K; 6-1; 180; Edmond Memorial
Landon Nault; RB; 5-9-185; Kingfisher
Joe Neece; WR; 6-1; 170; Cashion
Orlando Sheets; DB; 5-11; 190; Del City
OKIES ON THE 2013 ROSTER
Jaelon Bledsoe; H; 6-3; 210; Tulsa McLain
Jonathon Burton; RB; 5-11; 200; Enid
Mitchell Foote; WR; 6-3; 185; Enid
Corben Jones; QB; 6-1; 205; Yukon**
Jordan McAdoo; OL; 6-4; 299; Piedmont
Chris Poston; DB; 6-1; 195; McGuinness*
Ty Reasnor; QB; 6-2; 180; Cashion
Trey Rodgers; OL; 6-4; 282; Collinsville*
DeWayne Sanford; WR; 6-3; 200; Lawton MacArthur
Drake Smithton; WR; 5-9; 190; Woodward
Jake Warehime; DL; 6-0; 305; Del City
A.J. West; RB; 5-10; 185; Yukon
Brent Wilson; QB; 6-0; 183; Ponca City
Justin Wilson; DL; 6-0; 322; Luther
**Transferring to Southwestern Oklahoma State