It was a glorified practice, but within the game, you do learn something about the team and for Heiman, about the position he'll play at the collegiate level. And watching Nebraska's leader, senior Zac Taylor, he sees what it takes to succeed not just physically, but mentally too. "He's tough as nails, which you need to be, because it's important that you can take a beating and get right back up," Steve said. "But he's also really a poised guy and never gets too up or down about anything."
Unlike last year's contest where Taylor went off through the air, setting virtually every spring game passing record there is, this year was about the running game, which appealed to Heiman. Not that he'd be looking to hand the ball off his entire collegiate career, but he knows how important the ground game is. "The run sets up everything you do in the passing game. You have to able to run the ball to do pretty much anything else."
"It was nice to see some of their young backs get out there and they all look like they are going to do really well this year."
Heiman's interest in Nebraska is obvious as he, like any other Nebraska kid could ideally see himself playing for the big red. And Nebraska, along with other schools like Kansas State, Iowa and Texas Tech, have all shown some good interest in him as to being part of their quarterback picture in the future.
What Heiman is thinking about right now, though, isn't so much about how Nebraska fits him, because he definitely thinks it does. It's how everyone fits him and what he wants for the future. "I'm getting handwritten letters from Nebraska, so that's good to see, but I am honestly keeping my options open right now," he said. "Every kid around here dreams about playing for Nebraska, but I also have to look at who is looking at me the most and what will fit me the best in the future."
Heiman's off-season tour begins tomorrow as he heads down to Kansas State to watch the Wildcats practice and see how he would fit there. Plus, he'll get to meet long time friend Allen Evridge, who is competing for a spot on the depth chart at QB.
After that, Heiman said he will attend the "Elite Junior Day" at Iowa Friday and follow that up with attending the Scout.com combine in Iowa City that weekend. Then it could be off to Texas Tech in the summer as the Red Raiders have asked him if he would like to come down and take part in their off-season camp.
It's all part of the plan or the process and Heiman looks at it all with a lot of interest and even some anticipation. It's that eagerness that keeps him from worrying too much about whether Nebraska will throw him officially into the mix of their future quarterback position with a written offer. Even if they do, though, Steve wants to make sure that he thinks of his future not as a fan, but as a future student-athlete.
"I have to look at everyone pretty equal right now, because I wouldn't want to just say this is great, that's it and not look at all of my options," he said. "Nebraska kind of speaks for itself with the tradition, the fans and everything else. But there are a lot of programs out there with a lot to offer."
"I'm just going to check it all out and see as much as I can for myself."
As for rating his first spring game at Nebraska, you don't have to ask what Heiman thought or if he was surprised. What he thought was what many, if not all Nebraska kids think and nowadays, when it comes to football games especially, it's impossible to be surprised anymore.
"It's Nebraska and it's football and when the Huskers are playing, everyone heads to Lincoln," he said. "I know most programs don't have that kind of following, but the fans at Nebraska are the absolute best in the world."
"It's a practice and everyone shows up to watch. That's just part of being in Nebraska. That's just another game everyone gets to see."
Heiman makes up part of the vastly open quarterback picture that Nebraska is looking at as they try to find some slingers for the future. With Zac Taylor going into his last year and to this point, nobody cementing themselves as the sure-fire number two, it's an interesting picture to say the least.
While Heisman was there as a prospect hoping to get an offer, Brenham, Texas quarterback Jarrett Lee was one of the quarterbacks there with one in hand. Lee stands as one of Nebraska's best chances at one of the perceived elite quarterbacks in the country. Joining Lee was Phillip Bates Jr., currently the only in-state QB with an offer.
Nebraska will need at least two quarterbacks this year and possibly even three, so keep Heiman's name in mind. He could become very popular not very long in the future.