"They were pretty much making fun of me about the way I looked," Heinz said and laughed.
Heinz is not concerned with the way he looks following back surgery Friday morning on a herniated disc. He's more concerned with the way he feels. Though he has spent most of the past two days sleeping, Heinz is looking forward to start his rehabilitation in the near future.
"I am actually feeling pretty good, though I still have pain where they cut (arthroscopic) me," Heinz said.
"As soon as I can move around and feel better, I can start a light rehab. It's going to be basic movement stuff. Range of motion. They want it to heal properly."
Heinz, a redshirt sophomore from North Florida Christian, was recently moved to backup center and was expected to provide quality depth behind starter David Castillo. However, he was recently diagnosed with two herniated discs. The good news is only one needed to be repaired -- the other was diagnosed as an "old" injury that can be helped through exercise.
Heinz could return to the Seminoles within eight weeks depending on his rehabilitation. He could also request a medical hardship after taking a redshirt season in 2001. Either way, Heinz wants to take a cautious, deliberate approach.
FSU players report for preseason camp Tuesday. The Seminoles' first practice is Wednesday.
"I don't want to try to rush back into it," Heinz said. "I have plenty of time to get back (to football). When it comes to your back, you only have one. I am going to take it as it comes. If I feel good, I will try to come back. If not, I will look into a medical (hardship)."
Heinz, a versatile player who made his first career start at tight guard against Georgia Tech last year in place of an injured Montrae Holland, is just glad to get the surgery behind him. He showed at one of the Seminoles' conditioning sessions last week despite being in considerable discomfort.
"It had reached the point where I was having a hard time walking, even standing up straight," Heinz said.
Heinz's younger brother, Roger Heinz, also returned home this past weekend for a few days of rest and relaxation. Roger, a record-setting quarterback at NFC last season, is an incoming freshman at North Carolina. The Seminoles open their season Aug. 30 at UNC.
Roger Heinz, who will probably be red shirted this season as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery (left shoulder), says the Tar Heels are upbeat about the upcoming year. He also said the team is anxious to face FSU in the season-opener.
"That's all they have been talking about since I got up there (June 22)," Heinz said.
"I've been watching film on Florida State a few hours a night as well. Guys up there are taking this game (against FSU) very seriously. This is a game you can build your season on with a win."
Like at FSU, Roger Heinz and his UNC teammates also had voluntary summer conditioning workouts and pass-and-catch sessions with quarterbacks and receivers. Known for his athleticism at NFC, a laughing Heinz admitted collegiate workouts are "a different world" when compared to high school.
"I have never seen anything like it," Heinz said.
Here's a rundown on UNC's conditioning drills.
Monday: Eight 300-yard sprints in 55 seconds or under with a 45-second rest period. Tuesday: 16 110-yard sprints under 15 seconds, 45 second rest period. Wednesday: 16 80-yard sprints with a 50-pound weight under 14 seconds, 45-second rest period. Thursday: six 300-yard shuttles (25 yards down and back) under 65 seconds, one-minute rest period. Also rotated into the workouts were position specific drills, be it high knees, running in a sand pit, etc.
Heinz said the team also had to lift weights four times a week. UNC's varsity conditioning test is also similar to FSU's -- running 110-yard sprints under a specific time depending on position.
"It was obviously different, nothing that I have ever been through, but I also had a lot of fun," Heinz said. "I only threw one pick during pass skels the five weeks I was there, so I felt like I did okay."
Roger also was happy to hear that his brother's surgery went well.
"I know everyone is relieved that he's going to be fine and he can return to playing football," Roger said. "He needs to take it slow and make sure he's ready. But I know he's going to work hard to get back out there."
Of course, Matt is not going to cut little brother any slack. Even when mending from back surgery.
"I can take him -- he's just a quarterback," Matt said.