"They measured me at 6-1," said Chad Heineman, a rugged 305-pounder from Edgewood High School in Trenton, Ohio." All of the other times I've been measured at 6-3."
Except for being "shorted" during the measuring process, however, Heineman found the other aspects of his visit quite pleasant.
"I had fun," he said. "It was good work. Good competition."
That's fortunate because he traveled a significant distance to participate. The haul from Trenton to Knoxville spans 245 miles and takes around four hours. Heineman said he was willing to make the trek because "I just wanted to check out the school and gain some exposure."
Because a strong showing can result in a scholarship offer and a major bump in reputation, most high schoolers believe prospect camps are well worth the time and travel invested. Heineman is no exception.
"I like the competition," he said. "Usually, playing in your league, you're one of the better players in the league. When you come to these you're playing against the same caliber of players as yourself, which gives you good competition."
Like many prospects, he expects to hit the camp trail hard this summer.
Asked what he's seeking in a college, Heineman replied: "The main thing I'm looking for is to stay somewhat close to home and make sure the school I choose has an exercise science program. Of course, athletics and campus life are important."
Which side of the ball Heineman plays in college is not yet settled.
"I play offensive line in high school but I expect to play defensive line in college," he said. "That's what most of the colleges are looking at me as because of my size and strength."
Heineman reports a bench press of 340 pounds, a squat of 460 and a clean of 300.
Blessed with good strength and technique, he considers himself to be a tough competitor in the trenches.
"I have power," he said, "and I'm good with my hands."