April 11, 2013
Name: Jeff Heuerman
Hometown: Naples, Fla.
High School: Barron Collier
2012 Recap: Saw action in all 12 games, averaging 11.8 yards per catch, sharing playing time alongside Jake Stoneburner and Nick Vannett. Heuerman ranked sixth on the team in receiving yards, with one touchdown, an 18-yard reception vs. Nebraska, and a game-tying 2-point conversion catch vs. Purdue.
2013 Outlook: With the loss of Stoneburner to graduation, Heuerman will undoubtedly acquire an increased roll at tight end. In fact, he has potential to be one of the most valuable pieces of the Buckeyes' passing attack. Listed at 6-6 and 250 pounds, the Naples, Fla., native adds a versatile repertoire of blocking and receiving skills to Coach Meyer's already potent offensive scheme.
Q: What is it like playing in Coach Meyer's system?
A: I feel like I fit into his system great. It's a little bit different than last year now that Jake [Stoneburner] is gone. Last year we kind of split the tight end position you could say. He was able to do certain things, while I did certain things. This season everything is on me. I like it though. Everything seems to be working out well.
Q: How have spring practices been going and how do they compare to last season?
A: It has been good so far. Last year we were just out there trying to figure out where to line up, whereas this year is all about execution and perfecting what you do. We are getting into more complicated stuff in regards to offense and it's actually showing.
Q: What are your personal goals going into this season?
A: I don't know if I can tell you I have any personal goals. I just want to do my job and play my best. I want to go out there and do what I know I'm capable of doing. Everything else will just kind of work its way into place.
Q: Any thoughts on Braxton Miller's new hairstyle?
A: I don't know who told him to do that or who said it was going to look good. I guess he just wants to have blonde hair like a lot of the rest of us on the team.
Q: What is your relationship like with tight end coach Tim Hinton?
A: We have an awesome relationship. He's a great coach and a great guy. He's been around coaching and kids our age forever. He really understands what we go through, the everyday battles. I love him to death.
Q: With your brother Mike starting his freshman football season at Notre Dame this fall, what kind of advice have you given him?
A: Work hard and keep your mouth shut. A lot of guys come in thinking they're all this or all that, but when you go to play football at big time schools like that you get shut down really easily. Just work hard, keep your mouth shut and listen to your coaches and everything will work out for itself.
Q: After starting football a little later than most, do you think you have more time before you really reach your potential?
A: I started football my freshmen year of high school, so I guess you could say I was behind a little bit. There's other ways to look at it, too, though. My body didn't take a beating for all those years before that. I like to look at the positives and now I can definitely see it as a positive.
Q: What kind of foundation did youth hockey provide for your football career?
A: The discipline and everyday work ethic helped me a lot. There are a lot of sports which require those things and hockey is certainly one of them. If you follow youth hockey, through eighth or ninth grade, the discipline and time those kids put into it isn't like football where you show up for an hour or two. Especially for me coming from Florida, I was flying around the country all weekend. The work ethic and all those hours spent really helped me carry over to football, even today.
Q: Besides going undefeated, what moment stands out to you most about last season?
A: Winning the Michigan game on my birthday with my dad who played basketball at Michigan in the stands was probably what stood out to me most. I think it was probably one of the best days of my life. I told my dad after the game, `I bet 20 years ago you didn't think you would be sitting in Ohio Stadium watching your kid play for Ohio State beating Michigan.' My brother was there on the field afterwards with my dad and I remember all of us jumping around. That was just a special moment to me.
-- Ashley Albertson, Ohio State Athletics Communications Student Assistant
Previous Spring Spotlights:
Curtis Grant (March 8)
Carlos Hyde (March 21)
Kenny Guiton (April 3)
Corey Linsley (April 9)
Evan Spencer (April 10)
Buckeyes in the NFL - Divisional Round