The 2016 offensive line class in Des Moines is shaping up as an impressive one, with Valley's John Raridon and Urbandale's Jake Heinrich likely to compete for the top spot in the state's overall rankings. Throw in Urbandale guard Caleb Bright and there's the potential for three FBS-bound players in a six-mile distance.
Thanks to a recent, welcome weight gain, Heinrich has filled out his 6-foot-4 frame to 270 pounds and looks the part of a road-grading offensive guard. As Scout Midwest Analyst Allen Trieu says, "Tough, strong kid, but also plays with good knee-bend and a strong base. He was a dominant run blocker on film but showed he could pass-pro too (at the NFTC in Chicago)."
As did former Urbandale teammate Allen Lazard, Heinrich grew up an Iowa State fan.
"I've always liked the Cyclones," he said. "I went to their camp last year. That was the only summer camp I did. I've always liked the environment — a lot of people from Urbandale. Seems like a good school. I had fun in the camps. The stadium's great, wonderful facilities and I like the coaches as well."
Iowa State saw its staff shake up after 2013's 3-9 campaign, with offensive line coach Chris Klenakis heading to Louisville and ISU hiring Brandon Blaney from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Heinrich is comfortable with head coach Paul Rhoads and looks forward to meeting much of the new staff at a camp this summer.
Iowa State reaches out to Heinrich the most and he's also heard from Iowa, Nebraska and Notre Dame. Oregon, Oregon State and Miami recently sent him questionnaires.
"The few schools are close (to offering) but I couldn't tell you how it's gonna pan out," he said. "I want as many options as possible, that's the goal."