When Charlie Heck verbally committed to North Carolina last November, uncertainty surrounded his expected collegiate position. While uncertainty still exists, a plan is now in place.
“When I first get there, I’m going to start out in the tight ends room,” Heck said. “I’m going to start out as a blocking tight end.
“I know that they do want to see how much weight I can put on. After the first year, I might not gain that much weight and just stay at tight end. But I do think – and so do they – that I’m going to put on a bunch of weight after my first year and then move over to tackle on the O-line.”
Gaining weight has never been problematic for Heck, who played tight end for Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst. He played his junior season with 195 pounds on his 6-foot-7 structure only to show up the subsequent preseason at 250. After the ensuing season shed five pounds from his frame, he added 15 this offseason. Thus, when he reports to UNC on June 15, he’ll weigh in at a sturdy 265 pounds.
“If that keeps going, I’ll be 300 before I know it,” Heck said. “I’m not forcing anything – I’m just going to see what my body tells me.”
This offseason, Heck has worked out every day at Simoneau Sports Performance with Mark Simoneau, who spent 11 seasons in the NFL at linebacker.
“He runs us through football specific drills,” Heck said. “Also, I’ve been running a lot on my own. That’s one of the main things that’s going to be the biggest transition – all the running I’m going to do [in college].”
Heck, who plans to major in exercise and sport science, might begin in the tight end room, but he’ll share a suite with three offensive linemen – fellow incoming freshman Tommy Hatton, and sophomores Brad Henson and Bentley Spain.
Now that nurture has been covered, let’s examine Heck’s nature. His older brother, Jon, is a junior at UNC who has started at right tackle since his red-shirt freshman campaign. Additionally, his father, Andy, played 12 years in the NFL at offensive tackle (and has been an NFL O-line coach the past nine seasons).
Speaking of Jon, he has provided his younger brother with limited UNC/football advice.
“He hasn’t given me any football tips yet,” Heck said. “He just told me to enjoy the last couple months of high school while I can. And then once I get to UNC to give as much effort as I can, because they understand freshmen coming in they will make mistakes – that’s unavoidable. But as long as you’re giving above 100-percent, the coaches will like you and you’ll be able to be successful.”
UNC’s contact with Heck doesn’t provide any positional hints. He speaks equally to Chris Kapilovic, UNC’s offensive line coach, and Seth Littrell, who coaches the tight ends.
“They’re great people,” Heck said. “They’re treating me like a Tar Heel now – they’re not telling me how great UNC is, because they know that I know that. I’m one of their players now and they’re just excited to get back out there and start coaching me.”
Heck’s assigned jersey number could provide insight into his ultimate position. However, neither Kapilovic nor Littrell have discussed digits with Heck.
“That’s going to be interesting for me on what jersey number I get,” Heck said.
If Heck is sitting in the tight end room with an offensive line jersey number, he knows it’s only a matter of time before he sees a room switch.
Signee Update: Charlie Heck
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