The 90 Illini #22: Michael Heitz August 10, 2012
6′-5″, 305 lbs.
rs-Sophomore (on scholarship, 3 years to play 3)
V.I.T. HS / Vermont, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: #22
What I Know About Him:
Completely unintentional that I ranked him #22 last year and then #22 again this year. But this #22 looks so much better than last year’s #22. As I’ve said before, of all the players in the last 10 years that have unfairly been forced into action due to depth issues (Travis Williams, anyone?), Michael Heitz is near the top of the list.
Graham Pocic got a redshirt year and a freshman year to learn the system and gain strength before starting as a redshirt sophomore. Jake Feldmeyer got three full years as an understudy and now he’ll get a shot to start. Michael Heitz had to be ready to start at right tackle after one year as a redshirt. So my hope for him is that his baptism by fire starts to pay off as soon as September 1.
What I Expect From Him:
I love the move from tackle to guard for him. His strength was run blocking and he sometimes struggled in pass pro (who wouldn’t, trying to stop Big Ten defensive ends as a freshman). So a move to guard gives him the chance to maybe play more to his strengths.
If that’s permanent, and our line stays at the Thornton-Pocic-Feldmeyer-Heitz-Cvijanovic that we saw in Rantoul, then I think we maybe look for a line of McDowell(Nowicki?)-Karras-Feldmeyer-Heitz-Cvijanovic in 2013, with Alex HIll playing the role of the 6th man. Or maybe Flavin beats out the tackles. Or maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.