Is the state's best QB only a junior?

One of the top quarterbacks in the state of Nebraska isn't a senior this year and he isn't real well known. It won't be long though. At least one division one school is keeping close tabs on not only one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Nebraska, but also one of the top pitchers.

There has been a little bit of a shift in-state in Nebraska from run-oriented offenses to passing offenses. Omaha Gross is in their second year as a spread offense. Steve Heiman likens the offense to Texas Tech and admits that it's getting better with time.

"Our record doesn't show it, but it's actually going pretty well," Heiman said. "We are making some pretty big strides. This is the second year in our offense and it's going very good for us. It's a spread offense much like Texas Tech."

The 6-foot-2.5 and 180 pound Heiman says that throwing the football is his biggest strength. He can also run, but it is his arm strength and accuracy that makes him work so well in this offense.

"Throwing would be my biggest strength. If I get time I am pretty good. If the pocket happens to break down I can get out of bad situations fairly well. I think that I am strong and accurate. I know that my coach says that he would put me up against anyone as far as accuracy, but arm strength is pretty good."

"At the Nebraska quarterback camp I think that my furthest was 66 yards. So I think that I could throw it anywhere from 65 to 70 yards. Probably 70 on a good day."

Heiman saw some time as a freshman at Gross. As a sophomore though he was the starter and earned a lot of honors as a sophomore. "I played as a freshman at Gross. It was only about six quarters or so. I got all-district honorable mention, all-metro, most valuable under-classman of a year and all-state honorable mention. My sophomore stats were 1,784 yards passing and 14 touchdowns.

His last year at Gross yielded a lot of honors so how would he compare where he is at this year to where he was this same time last year? "This year my attempts are down, completion percentage is up and my interceptions are way down this year compared to at this point last year. Right now I think that I have about 1100 yards passing and eight touchdowns."

Growing up in Nebraska usually means that you were brought up a Husker fan. Heiman was raised in a household that watched Husker games together as a family on Saturdays. "Oh yeah, ever since I was a little I have been a fan. Every Saturday we would get together and watch the Huskers on TV."

Before Nebraska made the change to a West Coast Offense, it was difficult to see Heiman in an option oriented offense. He just didn't have the 40 time that you would usually need. Now that Nebraska has changed to a passing attack he has the arm to make it work and finally got the speed.

"Up until this summer I always ran a 5-flat. I just hit the weights real hard and skipped basketball. I talked to my old weight trainer and he just said that I just grew into my body finally. I dropped down from a 5.0 to a 4.6."

So far, there has been only one school to step up and notice Heiman. The junior quarterback knows that a lot can happen the rest of this year and next year.

"Iowa has been talking to me quite a bit. They sent me tickets to a home game and I went there. They send me around three letters a week. I haven't been receiving any letters from Nebraska yet."

One situation that will definitely need to sort itself out with time is what sport will Heiman actually play in college? While he is a very good quarterback right now he is also a very good pitcher.

"I went 12-0 as a sophomore. I threw a nine inning no-hitter against the number one team in the state, Millard South. Right now my heart is with football. I would definitely keep my options open. It's two years down the road so who knows what happens."

This off-season will be very similar for Heiman. He is planning on getting on the weights and wants to put on some weight. He had an excellent opportunity to turn some heads last year at the Nike camp and he is planning on hitting more camps this year.

"I am not going to play basketball this year again. I want to put 25 to 30 pounds on. I am currently 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds. I would like to be 205."

"I am going to go to a lot more camps this summer. Last year I got very fortunate and was invited to the Nike camp as a sophomore. It is usually just for juniors and seniors. That is where I tested out at a 4.6/40. I did really good down there."


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