Heideman Has Opportunities In Two Sports

The Fighting Illini football staff has visited Normal to check out a three-sport star. Randy Heideman is a tall, rangy offensive tackle when he isn't playing baseball or basketball. While the latter may not be in his future college plans, Heideman is uncertain whether to pursue football or baseball beyond high school. It appears he will have choices available to few.

Randy Heideman is being recruited by Illinois for football. He attended a home football game last fall and visited a couple times this spring. The most recent was for the Spring Game, which he enjoyed thoroughly.

"It was great. It was awesome to see them run the offense."

He couldn't help but notice the Illini need offensive tackles after defensive ends made frequent sacks of quarterbacks.

"They didn't do too bad. I know they want some more athletic guys coming in to play tackle in the next couple years."

Could he see himself fitting into the UI offense?

"Yes sir. It's great to stand there on the field next to the players, see where you'd fit in. It's a great experience. Hopefully that would be me someday. I thought with my size and my athletic ability, I would fit there great."

Heideman has also enjoyed getting better acquainted with Illini offensive line coach Luke Butkus and his recruiting coach Billy Gonzales.

"I talked with Coaches Butkus and Gonzales, and they're really high on me. They both came in to see me for an in-school visit, so I got to see both of them. It's great getting to meet them and build a relationship with them. They let me know what they're all about."

The 6'-6", 285 pounder is somewhat of an enigma for college football coaches. He plays three sports, so he is behind in terms of his development for football. That is especially true for strength training, although he tries to schedule time in the weight room.

"Playing three sports, I can't always get in the weight room as much as I want. But the coaches are really good about opening up the weight room for me."

What he lacks in experience and strength, he makes up for it with a strong competitive streak that compels him to help his Normal Community teams.

"Playing three sports is big for me; I like to go year around and compete. But when it comes time for college, if I do decide to play football, then it will be cool to see myself develop, just focusing on football."

Heideman won't pursue basketball in college, but he is smart to include highlights on his football film.

"In basketball, I was the sixth or seventh man. Mostly I set screens and grabbed boards. I put some of those plays in my highlight film so coaches could see how I move my feet."

But football teams must sweat out the possibility Heideman will pursue baseball beyond college. He has excellent talent in that sport as well.

"My options are open right now, mainly between baseball and football. I'm mainly focusing on football right now. But this summer during baseball, I'll find more out about that. It's exciting.

"I play first base and pitcher. I don't know about the draft, but this summer I'll go to some elite tournaments. That will be cool. I have friends who have older brothers who are scouts, so maybe someday down the road it will work out. I'll keep it open, and hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll have an idea where I want to go."

Is he considered more of a pitcher than position player?

"I wouldn't say that. With my frame and stuff like that, I can throw decently hard. I think more scouts would be impressed with me as a pitcher. But I still look at playing first base. I guess you could say I'm a power hitter."

Might he consider playing both sports in college?

"It would be tough to play two sports in college. Ideally, I would love to do that. But it really depends on what coaches are willing to work with you like that. Being a lineman and a pitcher would be hard, but it's something I'd like to look into."

Heideman's summer will be plenty busy, attending football camps in between baseball games.

"I plan on going to two or three football camps this summer. Most likely, I'll be going up to Northwestern on June 8. I might be going up to Iowa on June 10 and then maybe Illinois on the 13th."

He is still hoping for an offer from Illinois.

"Hopefully an offer will come. I've been working really hard this off-season in the weight room. It was only my third year playing football this year. I never played before freshman year. I started playing varsity ball my sophomore year. I feel like watching and learning a lot this off-season will help me prove a lot this summer."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories