Who is new Vikings QB Taylor Heinicke?

More than just an undrafted quarterback, he’s a top-10 placeholder in the history of college football. More than just a quarterback, he also had success punting. And now he’s trying to win the No. 3 QB job for the Minnesota Vikings.

Taylor Heinicke
Quarterback
Old Dominion University Monarchs
6:01.0-211
Atlanta, Georgia
Collins Hill High School


OVERVIEW
Heinicke must know how two famous personalities feel – Rodney Dangerfield, for the lack of respect he seems to get from NFL scouts, and Sea Biscuit, as much like that under-sized racer, the height challenged quarterback is a true “thoroughbred” on the field of football.

The Monarchs made a triumphant move to the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks, thanks to the exploits of their multi-talented passer. In the history of college football, encompassing every level of competition, he closed out his career ranked seventh in history with 14,959 yards passing, 11th with 132 touchdown passes, fifth with 16,279 yards in total offense and sixth with an average of 353.89 total yards per game.

Not limited to just excelling as a passer, Heinicke added 1,320 yards with 22 touchdowns on 367 carries (3.6 ypc), as he started all but one of the 46 games he appeared in. He also possesses a strong kicking leg, adding pooch punting duties to his resume with very impressive results – 42 punts for 1,785 yards (42.5 avg) with 20 of those boots downed inside the 20-yard line and eleven others going for distances of 50 yards or longer.

Heinicke was named Old Spice Player of the Year in the state of Georgia as a senior at Collins Hill High School. That award is presented annually to 50 high school varsity football athletes. He added Gwinnett Daily Post Offensive Player of the Year honors, as he set the county season records for passing yards (4,218 yards) and touchdowns (44) in 2010. His 4,218 passing yards ranks second in Georgia State history, while his 44 touchdowns ranks third in state history.

That season, Heinicke completed 67 percent of his passes (284-of-426), threw over 300 yards in nine games and also ran for 354 yards on 77 carries along with a pair of touchdowns to help Collins to the Class AAAAA semifinals. He then collected 254 yards and three touchdowns en-route to MVP honors at the North/South All-Star Football Classic, as he helped the North to a 22-0 victory over the South.

Prior to joining the Old Dominion program, Heinicke appeared on the reality television show “The Ride” featuring high school quarterbacks competing for a spot in the U.S. Army All-American game. He played in nine games as a freshman, starting his final eight appearances. In fact, he would remain the team’s starting quarterback for the next 45 contests.


Heinicke was named the 2011 National Freshman Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards.

Heinicke, who took over quarterback duties for the Monarchs in the second half of ODU’s Oct. 1 contest vs. Massachusetts, finished out the 2011 campaign completing 211 of his 307 passes with just one interception, a Hail Mary pass at the end of ODU’s contest with Towson, and 25 touchdowns. In playoff action, the true freshman signal caller set school records with five touchdown passes in games vs. both Norfolk State and Georgia Southern and averaged 307.5 yards passing in the post-season.

Heinicke’s name did not appear in the conference or national stats having not played in the minimum 75 percent of games played to qualify. However, if his name did appear, his 265 passing yards per game would have ranked 18th nationally, his 160.2 pass efficiency rating would place him sixth nationally, and his 305.3 yards of total offense per contest would put his name 10th nationally.

The third-team All-Colonial Athletic Association honoree and two-time National Freshman of the Week by the Sports Network also averaged 40.3 yards rushing per game, running the ball into the end zone four times, and averaged 42.5 yards in his four punts.

A three-time CAA Rookie of the Week selection, Heinicke helped to guide the team to a 10-3 overall record, a second-place 6-2 mark in the CAA after being picked to finish 10th in the preseason polls, a second round playoff berth, and not only ODU’s first appearance in the national polls, but a top-10 ranking.

In 2012, Heinicke became just the second sophomore in FCS history to win the Walter Payton Award, given to the best player in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). He became the ninth-straight quarterback to win the award, as he also joined former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson (the one who went on to play for the Chicago Bears) as the only sophomores to win the award. Peterson won the award in 1999.

Heinicke’s record-setting season included breaking Steve McNair’s (Alcorn State, 1994) FCS single-season passing yards record with 5,076 yards and also surpassing the single-season record for completions with 398, breaking Brett Gordon’s record of 386 for Villanova in 2002. He led the FCS with his 5,076 passing yards, 390.5 passing yards per game, 44 touchdown passes, 55 total touchdowns, 26.00 points responsible for and 426.6 yards of total offense per game.

The ODU quarterback burst onto the national scene on Sept. 22 when he set the Division I record with 730 passing yards and 791 yards of total offense in ODU’s 64-61 win over New Hampshire. He tied the FCS record by throwing for 200 yards in 13 games while passing for 300 yards nine times and going for 400 yards five times. He tossed three touchdown passes nine times and four or more scores on six occasions, including a season-best seven in the win over Campbell.

In the Monarchs’ second round FCS playoff win over Coastal Carolina, Heinicke set a single-game playoff record with 542 yards of total offense, throwing for 497 and running for another 45 yards. He also tied the single-game record with six scoring passes. For the season, he was 398-of-579 for 5,076 yards and 44 touchdown passes. He also had 126 carries for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In 2013, Heinicke finished runner-up for the Dudley Award, given to the top Division I Player in the state of Virginia. He won the Touchdown Club of Richmond Offensive Back of the Year Award, as he ranked among the top-six in the FBS in passing yards, touchdown passes and passing yards per game. His 533 passing yards in ODU’s first-ever FBS win at Idaho is the fourth highest in a game this season by an FBS quarterback.

For the year, Heinicke was 340 of 486 for 4,022 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also rushed 93 times for 348 yards and five touchdowns. He passed for 300 or more yards nine times this season and has done so 21 times in his career. He tossed a season-high six touch-downs in the win over Rhode Island, just one off his career-best of seven last year vs. Campbell.
In ODU’s first season in Conference USA and the Football Bowl Subdivision, Heinicke led the Monarchs to a 6-6 campaign and 4-4 record in C-USA. He finished the year 289-of-457 for 3,476 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also added 139 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. He is the first Division I quarterback in Virginia to have three-straight seasons of 3,000 yards passing and 30 touchdowns.

For his career, Heinicke passed for 14,959 yards and 132 touchdowns, ranking in the top-five among all FBS quarterbacks, while his 16,279 yards is third among all FBS quarterbacks. He also became the first Monarch to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

INJURY REPORT
No major injuries reported.

AGILITY TESTS
4.76 in the 40-yard dash…1.63 10-yard dash…2.64 20-yard dash…4.13 20-yard shuttle…
6.73 three-cone drill…31-inch vertical jump…9’-01” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…28 ¾-inch arm length…9 ¼-inch hands…72-inch wingspan.

HIGH SCHOOL
Heinicke attended Collins Hill (Atlanta, Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach Kevin Reach…Named Old Spice Player of the Year in the state of Georgia as a senior. That award is presented annually to 50 high school varsity football athletes…Added Gwinnett Daily Post Offensive Player of the Year honors, as he set the county season records for passing yards (4,218 yards) and touchdowns (44) in 2010. His 4,218 passing yards ranks second in Georgia state history, while his 44 touchdowns ranks third in state history… That season, Heinicke completed 67% of his passes (284-of-426), threw over 300 yards in nine games and also ran for 354 yards on 77 carries along with a pair of touch-downs to help Collins to the Class AAAAA semifinals…Collected 254 yards and three touchdowns en-route to MVP honors at the North/South All-Star Football Classic, as he helped the North to a 22-0 victory over the South.

PERSONAL
Heinicke is a Mechanical Engineering major…Son of Diane Dodsworth and the late Brett Heinicke...Born 3/15/93 in Atlanta, Georgia.


Viking Update Top Stories