Eddie Heckard: CB1 is here
By: Braden Adams
As soon as the transfer portal opened on December 5th, fans across the nation watched as hundreds upon hundreds of players submitted their names into the portal.
For most, it was a time of frustration as they watched their favorite player decide they wanted to move on and play at another university.
If you’re a BYU fan, (and you probably are, hence why you’re here) then you definitely saw the annoyance and disappointment of so many fans across social media as player after player dropped into the portal.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate the last couple of years to stay relatively unscathed by the transfer portal. But with the emergence of NIL and so many other factors it’s unrealistic to expect that to continue.
Yes, we will lose players that will hurt. Nobody felt good when Logan Fano, Tate Romney, Clark Barrington, and others left.
But, the transfer portal offers opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Enter Eddie Heckard.
If you aren’t familiar with Eddie, get familiar.
Heckard is a 5’10 cornerback from Weber State, ending his Weber career with 84 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 7 interceptions, and 10 pass breakups.
Though not the tallest cornerback on the field, Heckard may be the most physical DB on the field. Eddie doesn’t shy away from contact and loves to make a big hit.
“I work hard in the weight room to gain an advantage any way I can on the field. I play close to the line of scrimmage, and a lot of times I am matched up against a tight end, so I need that strength to make a play.” He said
“I grew up playing linebacker. So I love to hit. Tackling was something I learned to be good at before anything else. So I take a lot of pride in that part of my game, and I take pride in being the hardest hitter on the team.”
For a defense in years past some have critiqued as being too soft, this is big news. Having players that like to hit and be physical on the field will make a huge difference.
Once Coach Jay Hill decided to make the move from Weber State to BYU, Heckard immediately entered his name into the NFL draft. But after some careful consideration, he decided to come back to college for one more year and transfer to BYU.
But that doesn’t mean that decision was easy.
“It was a very tough decision.” He said. “After talking to the scouts and hearing what they had to tell me, I realized I had to come back for a year and get some more film in against better competition.”
And while he did end up at BYU, several universities across the country threw their hat in the ring for the talented cornerback.
“I always knew I wanted to end up at BYU, but I had schools like Cincinnati, UCLA, Minnesota, SMU, Kansas State, Oregon State, and a few others reaching out.” He said.
“I went out on an official visit to UCLA and Cincinnati. And they definitely gave me lots to think about. They rolled out the red carpet for me. But, I knew BYU is truly like a family and I wanted to be a part of that.”
This should be music to the ears of BYU fans everywhere. BYU has an established culture that players want to be a part of.
It may not be what every kid is looking for, but BYU has found a niche and knows who they are. The Eddie Heckard’s of the world WANT to be here. And so long as Kalani Sitake is in charge, it’s going to be a big part of their pitch when it comes to recruiting kids to Provo.
He smiled when talking to us looking at his phone and mentioned that since he committed he had close to 500 new followers.
“I didn’t get that kind of love at Weber. It’s crazy. BYU fans have already shown me so much love. I already know this season is going to be amazing with all the fans.”
Once again, BYU fans have made their presence felt. It may not be the reason that a player chooses to come to BYU, but it certainly helps to have a fanbase that loves their players the way they do.
So everyone be prepared for Eddie Heckard. He isn’t the loudest person, but he takes pride in who he is and is confident in his abilities. He immediately comes in as one of the most talented cornerbacks BYU has had in years.
And he doesn’t plan on sitting around waiting for a rebuild either.
“My biggest goal this year is to win the Big 12 Championship. I hate losing. So being able to finish out my college career on top would be special. But I also want to show that I can play against the best competition and be one of the best cornerbacks in the country. So it’s gonna be a fun year. I’m really excited.”
Friends, BYU is building something special. I know things aren’t perfect, and there will be some rough moments. But Kalani and Co. are doing exactly what they need to be doing to build a special team.
I know there are going to be frustrations around the team and I know things won’t be perfect as we make the transition to Power 5 football. But exercise patience and trust the process. There isn’t a better coach to be leading the team than Kalani Sitake, and getting Eddie Heckard to Provo is a huge win for him and his staff.
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