|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