Q&A With Indiana University Commit LHP Connor Higgins

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Connor HigginsConnor Higgins and his Parkland HS teammates have a lot to look forward to heading into the 2014 high school season. Higgins will team with RHP Gabe Mosser (Shippensburg University commit), RHP Rhett Jacoby (No. 32 in the PA Class of 2015) and SS/RHP Chris Rabasco (No. 21 in the PA Class of 2015), to form one of the top pitching staffs in the entire state.

Higgins comes off a very solid sophomore season and a summer that saw him shine as a member of Team Pennsylvania at the PBR Midwest Future Games on the campus of Indiana University. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound lefty saw his stock jump after impressing at the event in August, and finalized his college decision this week when he announced his commitment to attend Indiana.

Higgins worked 3.2 innings for Team Pennsylvania, sitting 84-86 while touching 87 mph. He worked 1.2 innings to start Team PA's win over Illinois. The lefty has a loose arm and a power pitcher's frame. Higgins effectively mixed his fastball with a 72 mph curveball and an 80 mph changeup. He struck out six and yielded just two hits in his time on the mound.

Higgins spoke with Prep Baseball Report about how he came to his college decision and the events that led to his announcement.

PBR:  Where have you decided to attend college and why did you make this choice?

I have decided to attend Indiana University at Bloomington and I made this choice for several reasons. I want to major in Business and the The Kelley School is ranked in the top 10 of the country. Also, Coach Tracey Smith was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year and after spending time with him and his staff, I can see why. The players I met on both of my visits to Indiana were very welcoming and down to earth. Lastly, the facilities and the community of Bloomington are second to none.

PBR:  What other schools were you considering?

I was also considering Michigan, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Penn State, West Virginia, LSU, and Vanderbilt.

PBR:  Was distance from home a factor in your decision?

Not at all, playing in the Big ten gives my family an opportunity to watch games which are close to home as well as on the Big Ten Network. The flights from Philadelphia to Indianapolis are really affordable too.

PBR:  Where did the coaches first see you?  How did your relationship develop with their coaching staff?

Coach Smith and several of his assistants first saw me at the Midwest Futures Games in August 2013, when I was playing for Team Pennsylvania. Soon after playing in the Midwest Future Games, my father and I made a visit in September and were both impressed with everything. After my first visit, I kept in touch with Coach Greenspan, who was recruiting me by phone and email. On December 6th, my mother and I went back to Indiana for a second visit and my mom felt the same way. The coaching staff, the players and even IU Basketball Coach Tom Crean could not have been more welcoming. After visiting several other schools prior to my visit, I knew this is where I wanted to play college baseball.

PBR:  What role do the coaches expect you to play your first year on campus?

They expect me to come to Indiana, work harder than I have ever before and attempt to earn a spot in their highly talented pitching rotation.

PBR:  What is your biggest strength as a player and how do you feel that will help your team?

Higgins: My biggest strength is being a team player by putting the team’s needs ahead of my own. I also do not mind pressure situations because I used to play quarterback in football. I hope that my calm demeanor will rub off on my teammates in pressure situations.

PBR:  Who do you play for in the summer and what was your most memorable experience from this past summer?

Higgins: I play for Coach Mike manning at All Star Baseball Academy in West Chester, PA and my most memorable experience was playing at Perfect Game in Marietta, Georgia and making it deep into the playoffs. Because of the rain and several delays, we had to forfeit a playoff game. I also enjoyed playing in the Midwest Future Games for Team Pennsylvania.

PBR:  What is your current GPA?

Higgins: My current GPA is a 3.5

PBR:  Now that you have your commitment out of the way, what are your goals both individually and for the team going into your junior season?

Higgins: One of my goals is to get stronger and increase my velocity on my fastball from where it was this past summer/fall. I hit 90 mph in Georgia and I would like to increase that velocity for the spring. One of our team goals for this spring is to try and win a 4A Pennsylvania State Championship for the Parkland Trojans.

PBR: How did Prep Baseball Report aid you in gaining exposure as a potential college baseball recruit?

Higgins: PBR helped me with exposure to colleges that would have never seen me play. Playing in the Midwest Future Games opens many doors for players in the Northeast that rarely get seen by college coaches from the Midwest.

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