Monday, July 26, 2010


NAPLES, Fla. — It is no secret that Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel loves to run the football.

So it's natural that when he recruits tight ends he's always looking to land the ones who can put defenders on their backs.

(left, Jeff Heuerman)

Barron Collier (FL) star Jeff Heuerman is definitely that kind of player.

Heuerman — who issued his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes in April after receiving a plethora of offers from some of the nation's best like Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Iowa — is big (6-5, 230), strong, athletic and knows a thing or two about pancaking opposing defenders. He is considered one of the best pure blocking tight ends in the country for the class of 2011.

Although he plays in mostly a run-oriented offense at Barron Collier, Heuerman has also displayed that he can be a formidable pass catcher as well, snagging 12 receptions during his junior season for 300 yards and four touchdowns. On tape Heuerman looks a lot like a young Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.

Yeah, it's no wonder why the Buckeyes boss wanted Heuerman in a scarlet and gray uniform, is it?

Heuerman took time to talk with The Buckeye Times on Monday evening for this edition of "The Whole Nine" — nine questions that give Buckeye fans a little more insight into the recruit, both on and off the field.

The Buckeye Times: What made you commit to OSU so early?
Jeff Heuerman: I had visited about 10 schools when I got to OSU and I after I left Ohio State I just knew it was the right fit. I wasn't planning on committing so early, but when I got home I knew where I wanted to go and there was no since in waiting.

TBT: What is it about Ohio State that made them stand out from the other schools recruiting you?
Heuerman: Every school I visited there was always something or a few things that I didn't like about the school, the atmosphere or the football program. I didn't find that at Ohio State. There wasn't anything that I didn't like, which made it special.

TBT: Give me a scouting report on Jeff Heuerman?
Heuerman: Jeff Heuerman brings a positive winning attitude combined with love and passion for the game of football. The team is a family, and family comes first for me.

TBT: The Buckeyes landed the top quarterback in the country for the class of 2011 in Braxton Miller. Have you become good buddies with Braxton yet? Perhaps you've provided him with some video footage of Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark?
Heuerman: No I haven't become very close with Braxton yet. I've had a few conversations with him on the phone but I haven't met him in person yet. And now that you mention that about Manning and Clark, that sounds like a good idea (laughing).

Maybe someday people will be able to compare the Manning/Clark connection to Miller/Heuerman (laughing).

TBT: Are there any players you would say you try to play the game like?
Heuerman: I would say I pattern my game after Jason Witten. Not saying I'm as good as him (laughing) but the way he combines blocking, receiving and running is a lot like how I combine them.

TBT: What are some goals you have set for yourself ... high school and college?
Heuerman: One goal I have set for my high school career doesn't have anything to do with catches, blocks or wins, but more just being there for the team. I want them to know that if they need someone to lean on or come to, whether in life or on the field, I'm there for them.

Same goes with college and anywhere else.

Another college goal would be to win a national championship. That's what we'll work for everyday. I want to fill my right hand fingers with rings before I graduate (laughing).

TBT: What are your interests off the football field?
Heuerman: Off the field I enjoy working out, spending time with my brothers, family and friends, and just having a good time. Down in Naples we go out on boats a lot, so boating and fishing is also a big part of my free time.

TBT: Do you know what your college major will be? If so, what are your plans with it in the future?
Heuerman: I think I'm going to do a criminal justice major for something a little different rather than just pre-law. My dad is a lawyer and after it's all said and done that's what I would like to be also.

TBT: How do you want to be remembered when your career is over at Ohio State?
Heuerman: After my career at Ohio State I would like to be remembered as a good christian, a good person and a good football player. Someone that always worked hard and gave their all for their family, friends and Ohio State.

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