Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keith Heitzman, Wolverine

Keith Heitzman thinks helmets are unnecessary

Keith Heitzman, a tight end/defensive end from Hilliard, OH, committed to Michigan on Saturday.  A 3-star prospect to all three major recruiting services, Heitzman is a 6'3", 237-pound prospect.  Previously committed to the Vanderbilt Commodores, Heitzman switched his commitment after being offered by Brady Hoke's staff on Friday.  He also holds offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Marshall, Miami (OH), Minnesota, and Toledo.

Heitzman played both ways as a high schooler.  According to him, his only discussions with Michigan coaches have been with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and linebackers coach Mark Smith.  I do expect Michigan to get a tight end in the Class of 2011, so it's unclear at this point what position Heitzman is destined to play.

As for defense, Heitzman finished his junior year with 60 tackles and 13 sacks.  To cap his career, he was named the defensive player of the year for the Central Division District I as a senior.

I'm not extremely impressed with Heitzman's film, but as I said upon the commitment of Tamani Carter, Michigan has scholarships to give and might as well use them.  Heitzman has some physical skills, including a willingness to hit and some pretty quick feet.  But his footwork as a blocker and a defensive end are suspect.  He gets by on having superior athleticism and size, but those advantages will disappear somewhat at the next level. 

Regardless of what position Heitzman plays, he'll likely redshirt.  Tight end is manned adequately by senior Kevin Koger, whose backup will be redshirt junior Brandon Moore.  Unless there's an injury, Michigan won't need a freshman's services.  Defensively, Michigan has a fair number of options at end, all of whom have superior size and equal athleticism.  Even if the Wolverines suffer an injury or two at DE, Heitzman should rest easily on the sideline for a year or two.

TTB Rating: 63


  1. Interesting. I was assuming he was brought in to provide TE depth. Maybe he still is and the coaches just felt it was easier to sell him on D with Mattison being such a good recruiter.

    He's a body, so I'm glad to have him, but expectations are low.

  2. You mean redshirt-JUNIOR Brandon Moore? If he does play tight end, and does redshirt next year, he could be #2/3 on the depth chart behind Moore depending on whether Ricardo Miller makes the switch to TE

  3. @ Anonymous 9:29 p.m.

    Right. Moore was a redshirt sophomore this past season.

  4. If all we are doing is stuffing the roster with mediocre 3* guys that are barely Big Ten material, then aren't we better off banking those scholarships and using them in the 2012 class? Given the first year coaching effect and the abundance of talent in Michigan and Ohio next year, it could be a monster class. Instead, we are spending scholarships on questionable players at positions that are already loaded with an abundance of mediocre players. We don't need any more 3* cornerbacks or defensive ends with a low ceiling. This is what we are getting with Taylor, Heitzman, and Carter. We don't need any more J.T. Floyds and Terrence Talbotts on the roster right now.

  5. @ Anonymous 9:37 a.m.

    I understand what you're saying, but no, I don't think Michigan would be better off banking the scholarships. There's no guarantee that Michigan will be able to cash in on the monster class of 2012. And if Michigan can't do that, then they'll be in the same position of taking mid-level recruits...but those mid-level recruits will be a year younger.

    In addition, Michigan is scheduled to lose 16 players after the 2011 season. That leaves at least 16 scholarships, and attrition always adds a few spots. We're probably looking at a class of 20 for 2012, which isn't small.

    Furthermore, Heitzman has the ability to play TE, which is a somewhat dire need at this point.

  6. @Thunder

    I'd rather take the chance that we'll be able to land some better prospects in 2012. Taylor and Carter most likely aren't going to contribute for a few years anyways. The roster is packed right now with young mediocre corners and box safeties. Both Carter and Taylor are almost certainly going to redshirt and probably not play for at least a couple of years after that, unless one of them is massively underrated. If we can land a Leon Hall or a Marlin Jackson in 2012, he might start on day 1.

    I expect 2012 to be a great class for Michigan and I also expect us to turn away guys that are more talented than lots of our 2011 commits.

    Heitzman makes sense, I guess, as a tight end.

  7. @ Anonymous 10:02 a.m.

    I agree that we're overdoing it with corners a bit, but a couple of them will probably play FS. And a couple of those box safeties will turn into linebackers.

    I really don't think Michigan is going to have to turn away many guys who are better than our commits this year. I think our class in 2012 will be better overall, but as I said, it will still be a good-sized class.

  8. This is hilarious. I'm not sure what people are thinking, but Michigan hasn't had to turn down elite recruits for a while now. They've been well under the scholarship limit for years.

    There's no reason to assume that will change next year unless you expect zero attrition, which is just unreasonable. There's always attrition, even in stable programs that aren't dealing with coaching changes.

    Also, a 3-star recruit can develop into a quality player, especially by the time they're a red-shirt junior or senior. Often, these type of players will be better than 4 or 5 star true freshman.

    Michigan faces major depth issues at many positions. Besides WR and RB, they need an influx of bodies. Establish a baseline of reliable depth before they can get too hung up on which elite prospects they may not have room for. On the list of program worries this is pretty low.


  9. We should fully attrition to decrease, and for recruiting to pick up significantly for at least one year. If you look at RichRod's first full class or Brian Kelly's 2011 class at ND, that's about what I foresee for Michigan in 2012. I don't see us turning away a blue-chipper, but I can see us turning away some pretty good players. Kind of like what Ohio State has done the past couple of years.