Every major program in the country would love to get their hands on Brighton (UT) High School defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli. So impressed are coaches with Heimuli's combination of size and speed – 6-4, 290 pounds with 4.9 forty speed – they're willing to wait to see a return on their investment. Heimuli is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and may embark on a two-year mission after his freshman season.
"All of them know about the mission, a lot of them support it. That's a big part of my decision as well, is having a school that supports the LDS mission if I decide to go." Heimuli told GoBlueWolverine. "The LDS mission is something I'll strongly be considering after my freshman year, depending on how my freshman year goes. It's not set yet. If I do go, it would definitely be after my freshman year."
Heimuli said The University of Michigan's history with LDS athletes is definitely a positive. Former tight end for the Wolverines, Tyler Ecker, went on a two-year mission in 2001 and 2002 before three straight All Big Ten campaigns with the Wolverines from 2003-2005. Former backup quarterback Spencer Britton also went on a mission before transferring to Michigan from San Diego State in 2001.
"There's a lot of programs out there that don't know much about the LDS and faith and how there's a lot of LDS athletes that are good enough to go to these big programs and want to go on their mission," Heimuli said. "I know a lot of programs look at it as a new thing and it's hard for them to recruit somebody who will come in one year, be gone for two years, then come back after, but as far as schools that standout because of their support in that particular subject I'd say Michigan would be one of those schools."
Heimuli's summer plans include camps at Utah, USC and Oregon. He also plans to take unofficial visits to Oklahoma, Nebraska and LSU. He said he hopes to visit Michigan State and Michigan in the fall. Heimuli doesn't anticipate making a decision until after his senior season.
"Having it done before my senior season begins would definitely be helpful, but I don't see myself making that decision before then because I want to use up all the time that I can to get to know the programs," he said. "I'll probably narrow down my list before my senior season to get a smaller idea of what programs I'll be looking into. I can definitely see myself making my decision on signing day or maybe a month beforehand."