Coach Brian Kelly received his 12th verbal commitment for the 2013 class today from TE Mike Heuerman (Naples, FL - Barron Collier). Heuerman is listed at 6'4" and 215 lbs.
Heuerman chose the Irish in a close battle over Ohio State (where his brother plays) and Miami.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 4 star (#40 FL, #5 TE), 80 Grade
Rivals - 4 star (#10 TE), 5.8 Grade
Scout - 4 star (#9 TE)
247Sports - 4 star (#26 FL, #9 TE), 91 Grade (#214 Overall)
Highlights after the jump.
Mike Heuerman 2013 Tight End Junior Highlights.mov (via ABGWorldLLC)
The Irish have a recent history of freshman tight ends seeing game action early and often (Ben Koyack and Kyle Rudolph come to mind), but those were mainly due to injury or depth issues ahead of them. At 6'4", I would expect his college playing weight to be somewhere north of 240 lbs. If he shows up on campus near that mark, it's possible he sees early action.
From his highlight clips, there are a few things that really stick out to me. First, he is a pretty good blocker, especially sealing the edge at the point of attack. Second, I don't see a lot of wasted motion in routes or after catch-he gets up field immediately to maximize his YAC. Another thing that really impressed me was that he is deceptively fast, running away from LBs with ease. Finally, he was really tough to bring down in the open field. I like to see that from a TE.
He also showed some great flexibility from an alignment standpoint. On some plays, he flexed out wide. On other plays, he was more traditional three point stance. Either way, there were no issues getting off the ball and engaging the defender or getting into his route. The coaching staff has to be pretty pleased with the skill set that he brings to the table as a tight end.
Welcome to Notre Dame Mike!