It’s that time of year again; when high school seniors all across the nation sign with their future universities and football teams and Emporia State is no different.
Even though signing day might be a big day for the athletes, it is also important for the coaches and staff to readjust their roster and see who they need for the next season.
“You put in a lot of hard work,” said Garin Higgins ESU head football coach. “On signing day it is kind of a payday of sorts for all our hard work.”
When the coaching staff scouts out players, they try to look for athletes that can pave the way for success while attending ESU.
“We have a lot of players coming back,” Higgins said. “We are really young – we just needed to address our needs. We needed depth at wide receiver along with offensive and defensive lines and then we wanted to get the best athletes we could get, kids that could probably play a lot of different positions.”
This year, the ESU football staff signed 25 high school players along with four transfers from various states including Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Out of the signers, the Hornets picked up the 69th best high school cornerback in the nation, Julian Dozier, from Stony Point high school in Round Rock, Texas, along with two other players who were selected for the 2009 Shrine Bowl.
“There is something each one of them brings to the table,” Higgins said. “We are excited about our local kids that we got four of the best signers in a thirty mile radius. You always have to make sure you get the best talent in your own backyard.”
But being signed to a team doesn’t guarantee an athlete a starting position. Many will have to prove themselves coming in as freshman.
“One thing is that these athletes still have to come in and be ready to compete in the fall,” Higgins said. “I think this is a good class that is going to add depth. I look at some of these players that will potentially red shirt and I think we can do that because we are such a young football team.”
The Hornets prepare for next season with Higgins entering his third season at ESU and his tenth year as a head coach.