Heppe finishes strong at Liberty

The first Letter-of-Intent received by the NC State coaching staff on signing day was Kalani Heppe's. He also was one of the first to commit to the Pack, doing so last April. StateFans caught up with the Virginia Lineman to see how his spring is going and check his Raleigh plans as graduation approaches.

While Kalani Heppe was quick to pull the trigger for the Pack last April, he has yet to make solid plans for an arrival date into Raleigh. He is busy finishing strong with Liberty's track and field team, chunking the shot put and flying the discus. He also will participate in July's annual East-West All-Star Football Game.

In track and field, Kalani has posted the longest discus flight in the state of Virginia this year at 157'11". He also holds the second longest shot put at a distance of 50'5".

"Right now I'm busy on the track team. The seeds are out and I am ranked. The State Championships are May 31st at JMU I believe."

In football, Kalani was named to the 2002 Region II All-Region and Virginia All-State teams following his senior season. His outstanding season gained him an invitation to play in the East-West All-Star Game.

"The game is July 12th. I want to do that. I am not sure when I will get up there (to NC State)."

While Heppe is unsure of his time schedule due to his track and field success at Liberty High School, he has begun to prepare physically for his future Wolfpack football career. He started the NC State spring conditioning program and he has found it to be challenging.

"It's kind of rough. I do more reps but with less weights. It's pretty effective. My squat and power are coming up and I'm working on my bench."

Kalani slipped down to Raleigh to watch the annual spring game in April. The big Offensive Lineman liked what he saw from the Class of 2003.

"The Red-White game was pretty good. I saw the new players like Yomi. I thought he played really well. Mario looked good on defense. I thought the whole freshmen class looked pretty good."

Heppe also had a chance to briefly meet with new offensive line coach Michael Barry.

"I met him at the game. I saw him in the parking lot and he seemed to be a pretty intense guy. He told me to come ready to play".

The Liberty standout was the first to fax in his letter-of-intent on signing day. It arrived shortly after 7:00 am. Kalani's reasons for signing with the Pack still remain strong.

"NC State was just a really good fit all the way around. They have a family type atmosphere there and that's what I wanted to be part of."

Heppe only needs to graduate to be a fully qualified as an incoming freshman.

Kalani helped lead Liberty to a 22-3 record during his junior and senior seasons. He was named to Super Prep's All-Region team as a senior.

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