Defensive prospect emerges for the Tide

Two Atlanta area prospects will take official visits to Alabama this weekend, including a pass-rush specialist who could end up at either linebacker or defensive end on the college level.

Mike Heard (6-4, 220, 4.50) and his Lovejoy High School teammate, Tashard Choice, will visit the Tide campus this weekend.

A prolific pass rusher who has terrorized quarterbacks for the past two years, Heard uses very good speed to blow past offensive tackles---often before they can even come out of their stance.

TheInsiders.com network provides the following scouting report on Heard:

  • Plays defensive end and tight end in high school.
  • Projects as a linebacker or D-End in college.
  • Knack for the big play.
  • Very quick off the football.

Since arriving in Tuscaloosa, new Tide Head Coach Mike Price and his staff have been playing catch-up in recruiting, searching especially for qualified defensive linemen. Selected as his region's, Defensive Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons, Heard could fit that bill.

As a senior Heard totaled more than 100 tackles and 11 quarterback sacks. During his junior season he posted 109 tackles, nine sacks, and four forced fumbles.

Heard has the talent going into college to possibly play as a true freshman, but he will need to add additional strength. Currently his weight-lifting numbers are 300 pounds for the bench press and 450 for the squat.

The Jonesboro, Georgia native has the frame to carry 250 pounds. When he adjusts to the blocking tendencies of offensive tackles in college, he should become a collegiate quarterback's nightmare.

At the NIKE Camp held at Athens, Georgia, Heard posted an impressive 4.32 twenty-yard shuttle time. He been measured with a 32-inch vertical jump.

Finding qualified linemen will be key for the Tide. Heard carries a 2.6 GPA in the classroom and has scored 850 on the SEC.

Heard took an official visit to Mississippi State last weekend, and has visited the Georgia campus as well. He told BamaMag.com that he had narrowed his list down to four schools, including MSU, Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.

Clemson and Georgia have come in for official home visits, but if the Tide coaches like what they see this weekend they could travel to Jonesboro soon.


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