Cardinal Mooney Connection Continuing?

Cardinal Mooney High School produced Bo Pelini. It is also the prep alma mater of Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops and his brother Mike Stoops, who is the Head Coach at Arizona. And it's been home to a host of prep stars, one of the most recent for Nebraska being Tim Marlowe, who is a redshirt freshmen this year. The next? Try Bralyon Heard, truly an all-everything player

Tim Marlowe wasn't the most heralded player to come out of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, but with the Pelini connection and the illustrious history of the program, all that added up and now for Husker fans when they hear a name come out of that school their ears perk up.

Try Braylon Heard on for size.

He's 5-10, around 175 pounds and think of a skill position on the field and he's probably played it. "I think I have done it all. I have played quarterback, corner, receiver running back and I could probably play safety, too,:" Heard said. "I think the only time I wasn't on the field during a game was when we punted."

That means stats, and lots of them, the ones Heard recalling being the over 900 yards he had rushing and nine touchdowns scored, along with two interceptions on defense. It's enough versatility that when most players don't want to be classified as "just" athletes, that's just fine for him. Point of fact he considers himself in the mold of one of the most freakish pure athletes in recent memory. "I look at myself as a Reggie Bush type, because I think I can do a lot of things on the field," Heard said of the Heisman Winner now New Orleans Saint. "Just put me out there on the field and I think I can make plays."

You won't hear any argument from schools. 13 of them to be exact, those being the ones which have offered him thus far, Wisconsin being the most recent. "I got an offer from them, plus I have offers from Penn State, Cincinnati, Ohio, Pitt, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Kent, West Virginia, Akron, Nebraska, N.C. State and Maryland," he said.

For Husker fans Cardinal Mooney has obviously garnered more interest as of late.

With Head Coach Bo Pelini hailing from Ohio and having attended Cardinal Mooney himself when he was a kid, that area has become a new and hot recruiting region for the big red. It's not one where even those kinds of ties reel in a lot of success, because this is Buckeye territory, of course. If Ohio State offers that's usually it and it's only a matter of time before that young person says they are going to be playing their college does in the "Shoe."

Heard said that despite the fact that he doesn't have an Ohio State offer now, if he did get one, his reaction wouldn't be the same. "I followed them, of course, but I wasn't one of those who just wanted to go there and that was my dream," Heard said. "I'm going to go where it fits me the best and where I will have the best opportunity to play."

Heard says that he doesn't know a lot about Nebraska, but he does know one of their current players, someone whom he played with two years ago and respects to this day. "I know Tim probably never came off the field. He was a lot like I was, because he played all over the place," Heard said of Marlowe, who is listed as a wide receiver for the Huskers, but could be a feature player on special teams, too. "I know nobody worked harder than he did. Me and him are still pretty close."

That puts Nebraska on the list, but it's a list that Heard says he hasn't narrowed down and doesn't expect to any time soon. In fact, he's thinking that he might not even really start to narrow things down until after his senior season. "I'm just taking it all in. I'm not in a big rush to figure anything out. I just want to see how this all plays out and who else comes into the picture," he said.

Braylon did say, though, that if he can he'd like to take some visits at some point to see some of these schools, but he'll try to keep those as close as he can. "I'd like to get over to see West Virginia, Penn State and Nebraska, if I can," Heard said. "But I am not trying to go too far. I just want to see a little more, because you hear a lot, and you just want to see if what you hear is right."

With Nebraska he hears about the same thing most others hear when they don't know much about Nebraska, because they live outside of the state. "They say it's about football there and that's it. Anything else I want to know I know I can ask Tim," he said.

Because of his standing as an athlete in many eyes, Heard says that he doesn't care what side of the ball he's on. He just wants to play, but did say that he feels offense might suit him the best. "It feels a little more natural, maybe. But I don't mind playing other positions. I just like staying on the field," he said.

There is a question which we usually ask, but it was seemingly answered when Heard commented about being a little more objective about the Buckeyes that most prep kids throughout the state. It just has to do with the idea that one school could offer you and recruiting would be done. You had to figure that would be Ohio State, but since it wasn't he might not have one.

Heard said that wasn't quite true.

"Probably USC. I mean, it's USC," Heard said with a chuckle. "I am taking into account being able to play, so I will have to think about that with them, because they are always loaded at every position. But it's USC. There's really not much else to say."

If that doesn't happen, though, Heard says he's going to be just fine, because with over a dozen offers now with no sense that this tide of popularity is going to slow down, he knows he has and will have a ton of solid programs to choose from. "Yeah, it's a lot of schools now, but hopefully it will be more, because I am just looking for more options down the road," he said. "You just want to be able to look at them all and figure out which place is best for you.

"I don't know right now. I am not even looking at it that hard. But I some point. I'm going to take my time."

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