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Heyman: "A Cardinal at Heart"

<B>ITV EXCLUSIVE</b><br> Earl Heyman became the third consecutive No. 1 rated in-state prospect to sign with the University of Louisville, joining Michael Bush and Brian Brohm. was on hand for his signing on Wednesday afternoon and learned that there was never any doubt where the U.S. Army All-American would land. <p> <li><a href=""><B>Complete Signee Profiles</b></a> <P>

On Wednesday afternoon, Louisville Ballard's Earl Heyman, wearing his U.S. Army All-American jersey, strolled into a room full of family, friends and the majority of his Bruin teammates. Moments later the 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive lineman made his verbal commitment official by signing his Letter of Intent to the University of Louisville.

"It feels good to get it over with," said Heyman. My family is happy, I'm's a good choice."

Having the opportunity to play for the hometown team and giving his family the opportunity to watch him play played a large role into's No.8 nationally rated defensive end's decision.

"You get all the hometown support and to know that I'll have everyone's support feels real good," Heyman said. "I'm proud to be a Louisville Cardinal."

Heyman also admits that the Cardinals move to the Big East Conference all but sealed the deal for the U of L coaching staff.

"Obviously the Big East is a better conference than Conference USA," explained Heyman, who was a 1st Team All-State selection as a junior and senior. "To be able to be apart of the BCS and compete for a national championship is something that I wanted. The ranking that Louisville has and they way they can play makes it all worth it."

Prior to his impressive performance in the U.S. Army All-American game Heyman was viewed by the majority of the national scouts as a solid prospect, but not of the nation's top targets. However, following the game in San Antonio, Heyman saw his national rating climb on a weekly basis.

"I had a lot of fun playing in that game," Heyman said of his U.S. Army All-American experience. "Going against the best players in the nation you can't make any mistakes. I had everybody's respect when I left. When I got there no one knew who I was and I earned the respect from both teams, which was really fun."

Approximately one hour following Heyman's signing, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino agreed that Heyman's All-American game performance opened some eyes nationally.

"He went down to the all-star game and did a tremendous job," Petrino said. "They actually upgraded his status after that because he was one of the best defensive linemen down there."

Despite receiving over 25 scholarship offers and scheduling official visits to Boston College, Clemson and Kentucky, Heyman told on Wednesday that he never seriously considered any other school.

"I didn't really consider anyone else," explained Heyman. "I was a Cardinal at heart since I was a boy and now I get a chance to play for them."

Heyman, rated by as the state of Kentucky's top prospect drew even more praise from the U of L head coach.

"Earl, in my opinion, is the best defensive lineman in the state of Kentucky," said Petrino on Wednesday afternoon. "We had a great relationship throughout the recruiting process with him. He's a great kid and a real good person. We can't say enough about him."

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