"I'm real happy with how I'm playing this year so far," expressed Heimuli. "I feel stronger [and] faster and I'm just loving it more this year, and I'm excited to play after this year in college and at BYU."
Last year at this time Heimuli wasn't all that anxious to play more football. He was weighing in at 240 and was not all that motivated about football and the possible prospects of playing at the next level.
"Last year I was just like, ‘I'll play my senior year and then I'm done,'" recalled Heimuli. "I was playing alright, but I wasn't there mentally really. I just really didn't see myself playing after my senior year."
Enter Heimuli's uncle Kulesa Falo, who has raised Heimuli since he was young. Falo was intent on giving Heimuli some extra motivation and entered his nephew into an offseason workout program that turned Heimuli's playing abilities - and more importantly his attitude about football - completely around.
"I entered a program called AMP," explained Heimuli. "I didn't really want to, but my uncle really encouraged me, so I did it. It's a program run by Dave Stroshine, and he's trained NFL players and a lot of great athletes, so I started my training and it really, really changed everything for me."
Heimuli trimmed down, bulked up and got a lot quicker and lighter on his feet through the workouts.
"I can run a 4.60 forty now, I weigh 220, and man, I'm just so much better in every area than I was a year ago at this time," said Heimuli. "But the biggest change is probably in my attitude. Mentally, I'm just excited to play football like I've never been before."
Heimuli served notice at multiple summer camps that he indeed had turned everything around and was worthy of a scholarship. After workouts at BYU's camp and the All-Poly Camp, Heimuli was met with an offer from BYU, an offer he quickly gobbled up.
"It's BYU and that's it for me," said Heimuli. "That's the only place I want to play football. It's a perfect fit for me and I can't wait to get going down there."
Since the start of the season Heimuli has been a consistent attendant at BYU home games, and has made sure to watch their prior away game on TV.
"Lately it's just like I'm just watching half the game and leaving early because they're blowing everyone out," said Heimuli with a laugh. "It's like I want to see more of the starters and all, but they're blowing people out so much that I can't see them enough."
Heimuli's eyes are obviously set on the Cougar backfield, which has Fui Vakapuna lead blocking for Harvey Unga. So which of the two players does Heimuli more closely resemble?
"I'm a lot like Fui Vakapuna," said Heimuli. "I love hitting guys. I get so excited when I see Fui lay out guys when blocking. That's what I want to be like. I mean, I can run it good too, but I'm definitely more like Fui with how I play."
Heimuli has had many a conversation with BYU running back coach Lance Reynolds, and through those conversations Heimuli has been able to envision his role on the BYU's team to a greater degree.
"Coach Reynolds asked me if I'd like to play more fullback than running back when I talked to him," said Heimuli. "I was like, ‘Teah, I'd love to play fullback.' I love hitting guys; that's my favorite thing about football. I also want to run it a bit, but I'll play wherever they think I'll do best."
Heimuli is well aware of the importance of catching the football in BYU's offense and has been working on that aspect of his game.
"I get so mad at myself when I drop a pass," said Heimuli. "I hate that. I know that catching the ball is a big part of being a running back in BYU's offense, so I'm working hard to be a better receiver. I'm pretty good right now at catching the ball, but I'll get better."
Heimuli has a couple of notable cousins that are being recruited by BYU in Ricky Heimuli of Brighton and Latu Heimuli of Highland High School. Ricky is a junior this year and is looking for an offer from BYU, while Latu is a senior and has been offered.
"Ricky wants to come to BYU bad," said Heimuli. "If he gets offered, he'll come for sure. I talk to Latu a lot, but not a lot about football, but he knows how bad I want him to come to BYU and I know that he likes BYU. I'm just going to try real hard to get him to commit."
During his final year, Heimuli has had some other schools come calling. Most notably, LSU has made phone calls inquiring about his potential services, but it makes no difference for Heimuli; He's playing for BYU.
"I don't care who calls and what they tell me," said Heimuli. "I'm going to BYU and that's it. I mean, BYU is the only place I want to play and that's where I'm going to play. Other schools are wasting their time. I'm going to be a Cougar."