Vaught's Views: Heyman a familiar name to Centre fans

May 25, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

A name familiar to Centre College football fans is one of Kentucky's recruiting targets.

Ballard defensive lineman Earl Heyman has been receiving attention from almost every big-name school in the country.

"He's kind of overwhelmed by it all," said Ballard assistant coach Greg Calvin. "Southern Cal to Boston College to Miami. They are all calling. I know Kentucky was one of the first to offer (him a scholarship). Louisville offered. A lot of others are going to be offering."

Heyman's brother, Eric, was a standout defensive back for the Colonels following his prep career at Male.

Earl Heyman is bigger, much bigger. He's 6-3, 240 pounds now, but probably will be back at his playing weight of 260 pounds for football when he has time to regain the weight he lost playing basketball.

He can bench press 325 pounds now. Yet Calvin says that might not be his most impressive quality.


"He's a very, very intense player. He's a true defensive lineman," Calvin said. "He's athletic, intelligent and a class kid. He's already bigger than his brother, and he's still growing. There's no telling how big he might be.

"I think he could play for a lot of schools as a true freshman because of his agility. For a big guy, he's awfully agile. That's something you can't coach. He can really move for a big guy."

Ranked among the nation's top 100 recruits

That's one reason recruiting analyst Tom Lemming has Heyman ranked among the nation's top 100 recruits.

"From a physical standpoint, he's so explosive and has such natural strength," said Ballard coach Mark Catlett, a former graduate assistant coach at Kentucky. "He moves really well. He has big feet and is a potential 290-pound kid.

"He's fantastic character-wise, something a lot of coaches quickly picked up on. He's just a top-notch kid. He's probably one of the hardest workers on our team and he just has a great, great personality. He's going to make someone an awfully good player."

How good? Catlett says he's not as athletic as Donnie Gardner or as big and strong as Oliver Barnett, two former UK defensive linemen from Louisville who went on to play in the National Football League.

"But I can't imagine a better high school lineman than him in Kentucky," Catlett said. "He is athletic enough as a big kid to be a really dominant lineman."

Catlett says the transfer of another Ballard product, receiver-defensive back Maurice Marchman, from UK after last season will not impact Heyman's impression of Kentucky.

"He's two full years ahead of Earl. He just wanted a chance to play more and he's going to Western Kentucky," Catlett said. "But that move won't have anything to do with Earl's recruitment."

His brother might be a potential recruit

Recruiters might also note that his younger brother, Dexter, might be a potential recruit. He's 6-2, 195 pounds and will only be a freshman next year.

But what about Eric Heyman? Is he still around Louisville?

"Erik is a businessman," Catlett said. "Every time he comes around here, he has a nice suit on. He got a good education at Centre College. He was always a good kid and it's no surprise to me that he's made himself a success.

"But Earl is the same way. He's going to make someone a good player, and when he's through playing, he'll be a success just like his brother is."

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