Randy Heideman A Top 2013 Tackle Prospect

The Fighting Illini football team used to profit from recruiting top athletes in the central part of the state. In recent years, high major players have been few and far between. That tendency might be reversed this next year. One of several downstaters with recruiting interest from Illinois is a junior tackle from Normal Community.

Randy Heideman has attended a couple Illinois football games this year. The junior tackle from Normal Community is making a positive impression on Illini recruiters, and vice versa.

"I visited for the Northwestern and Ohio State games. I thought Illinois played outstanding against Northwestern yet seemed really flat against Ohio State. The atmosphere at both games was awesome."

Right now he is being recruited by four schools, but more are sure to follow.

"Illinois, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and South Carolina."

Heideman has a positive opinion of Illini coaches Joe Gilbert and Mike Gillhamer, his line coach and recruiting coach respectively.

"Coach Gilbert taught me a lot at his summer lineman camp and has been very positive, along with Coach Gillhamer. In my limited exposure to both of them, they have both been helpful."

The 6'-6", 285 pounder also likes what he sees in the school and facilities.

"It's an outstanding academic public university with a great tradition in their football program. Also their facilities, from what I have seen, appear to be top notch."

Normal lost in the first round of the Illinois Class 6-A playoffs to Peoria Richwoods last Saturday. Speaking prior to that game, Heideman was pleased with his season.

"Its going great. We are 7-2 going into the playoffs. We have gotten better as a team each week, and I have personally. I have continued to improve on many things as this is just my 3rd year playing football and 2nd as a varsity starter."

He believes he has been a positive influence on his teammates this season.

"I am leading our team by setting good examples by coming to all practices ready to work hard and by giving our offense the opportunity to run the ball effectively and allow our QB plenty of time to throw the ball."

Heideman's assets include his athleticism.

"I'm a multi-sport athlete playing baseball and basketball as well as football. Coaches since 6th grade have always commented on my great footwork, specifically with football since I never played before high school. Also, I would view myself as more than just a lineman but an all-around athlete."

Being well-rounded athletically does put him behind his football-only peers in one respect.

"My biggest weakness is like most kids, strength. I haven't had much time to be exclusive in the weight room, as I also play baseball and basketball in the summer."

Heideman hopes to visit other schools, but he also wants to maintain a high GPA. He will no doubt be hearing from many colleges in the near future, including Illinois.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories