Jul 4, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT
Beginning his Notre Dame career at mid-semester, tight end Mike Heuerman had fifteen practices to jump start his freshman season with the Irish. But probably more important than the on field work was the strength and conditioning time. At 6-3.5 and just 218 pounds, Heuerman is a long way from being the right size to help the Irish along the line of scrimmage.
That said, there’s a ton to like about the Naples, Florida native. An eager blocker who spent most of his senior season in the trenches after an offensive switch put his team into the Wing-T, Heuerman will join a talented tight end depth chart looking to replace All-American first round draft pick Tyler Eifert.
Let’s take a closer look at what Heuerman brings to the table.
For a guy that lacks prototypical size for his position, elite college programs sure didn’t seem to mind. Heuerman’s offer list is more than impressive, with Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State among the many programs that offered him.
With a brother starting at tight end for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, and a father that was drafted into the NBA after playing at Michigan, the Irish coaching staff did a great job getting Heuerman to pledge early in April, and then held onto him through a long recruiting cycle.
EARLY PLAYING TIME OPPORTUNITIES
The Irish have three solid veteran tight ends already established with Troy Niklas, Alex Welch and Ben Koyack all capable of having breakout seasons. But that doesn’t mean Niklas will be kept off the field.
Heuerman is the type of big body that might do more damage as a jumbo wide receiver with willing blocking skills, rather than attached to the offensive line and catching an occasional pass. With the three guys ahead of him all capable of pitching in as an in-line blocker, Heuerman has speed and ball skills that might get him on the field.
Otherwise, he’s a great candidate for a year spent solely in the weight room, putting some much needed mass on a body that’s a little slight for his position.
PROJECTING THE FUTURE
There’s a reason some of the best programs in the country fought for Heuerman’s signature. And we’ll likely see that on the field sooner than later. While Heuerman lacks the size that this coaching staff usually covets, he certainly doesn’t lack the athleticism.
Whether he spends the year redshirting or not, expect Heuerman to be used as a threat in the passing game, and a guy that can do some damage detached from the formation, much in the way Tyler Eifert was used the past few seasons.
Aug 29, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT
That took long enough, didn’t it? After far too long, football is back. With a preseason camp that the Irish survived mostly healthy, the biggest hits came off the field. As an academic investigation claimed its fifth player Thursday, let’s run through the Pregame Six Pack to get you ready for Saturday’s kickoff.
Aug 28, 2014, 7:42 PM EDT
The look of Notre Dame’s defensive line changed drastically when senior Ishaq Williams was suspended indefinitely for his role in the academic dishonesty case now pending at the university level. Irish A-to-Z takes a closer look at the one-time five-star recruit.
Aug 28, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT
It appears that Notre Dame’s internal investigation surrounding academic dishonesty charges is nearing a close. But before it gets there, one additional player will be held out of practice and from competition this Saturday.
Aug 28, 2014, 3:55 PM EDT
Busy prepping for her debut as NBC’s sideline reporter for Notre Dame football, NBC Sports Group’s Kathryn Tappen was nice enough to catch up with me before the season begins.
Aug 28, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
With Notre Dame on a roll at tight end, freshman Nic Weishar enters “Tight End U” trying to make a name for himself. Irish A-to-Z looks at the Chicagoland tight end.
Aug 28, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
As most hard-core recruiting fans notice Brian VanGorder’s willingness to break the mold when it comes to recruiting, freshman cornerback Nick Watkins looks the part of a perfect prototype. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at the newest blue-chipper in the secondary.
Aug 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Brian Kelly appeared on the Dan Patrick show this morning and shed some light on the academic investigation that’s holding out DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams.
Aug 27, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT
Entering his fifth year in Notre Dame’s football program, grad student Justin Utupo is still looking to find a role in the Irish defense. Irish A-to-Z continues with the reserve defensive lineman.
Aug 27, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT
After being buried on the safety depth chart, junior John Turner became one of the talks of spring practice when he moved from forgotten man to a potential starter at outside linebacker. Irish A-to-Z looks at the unlikely outside linebacker.
Aug 27, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
The season is finally here. Got questions before the opener? Drop them in the comments or over on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Aug 27, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Notre Dame opens the 2014 season with a visit from Rice on Saturday afternoon. While on paper, a matchup with the Conference USA squad looks like it could be a good way to get the rust off, taking the Owls lightly would be a large mistake. The Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte gets us ready for Rice.
Aug 26, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Brian Kelly announced his captains for the 2014 season, naming safety Austin Collinsworth, defensive lineman Sheldon Day, center Nick Martin and running back Cam McDaniel his four leaders for the upcoming season.
Aug 26, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT
After enrolling early this winter, Andrew Trumbetti has forced his way into the starting lineup. Irish A-to-Z looks at the freshman defensive end slated to start against Rice.
Aug 26, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
When Brian Kelly leads Notre Dame out of the tunnel to open the 2014 season on Saturday afternoon, he’ll be leading his youngest and most inexperienced team into battle on the new artificial surface of Notre Dame Stadium. He’ll also be short three key starters, still left in limbo as an academic investigation and Honor Code ruling continues.
Aug 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
If there’s one coach counting on freshman Drue Tranquill to find the football field, it’s head coach Brian Kelly. Irish A-to-Z looks at the freshman safety who earned his scholarship thanks to Kelly’s evaluation of his high school film.
Aug 25, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT
After watching Zack Martin quietly spend four years dominating along the Irish offensive line, junior Ronnie Stanley steps in at left tackle. Irish A-to-Z looks at Notre Dame’s new starting left tackle.
Aug 24, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Don’t look now, but the Irish might have another elite tight end in the making. That’s the expectation for sophomore Durham Smythe, our next entry in the Irish A-to-Z series.
Aug 24, 2014, 9:34 AM EDT
We are about to get an idea of how good sophomore Jaylon Smith can truly be. Irish A-to-Z continues with a look at Notre Dame’s star linebacker.
Aug 23, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
Notre Dame awarded scholarships to veteran walk-ons Connor Cavalaris, Charlie Fiessinger and Tyler Plantz. The trio will get a free year of education during the 2014-15 school year, awarded for their hard work.
Aug 22, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
A blue-chip recruit who immediately contributed on the 2012 defense, junior Elijah Shumate is still looking to find his fit in the Irish defense. Irish A-to-Z takes a closer look at the New Jersey native.