Louisville Ballard defensive lineman Earl Heyman will be one of Kentucky’s top prospects in the Class of 2005.
Heyman (6-3, 260, 4.9) earned second-team all-state honors as a junior in leading the Bruins to a 9-4 record. He finished the season with approximately 80 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
“He’s a heckuva athlete for a kid his size,” Ballard coach Mark Catlett said. “He’s just a big, powerful, fast kid – very explosive off the ball. He’s got a strong, lean frame and huge hands. He’s yet to reach his size potential.
“He’s also a high character kid with great work ethic and smarts. He’s a well-rounded kid – the total package.”
Heyman showed his coach some traits early in his high school career that foreshadowed stardom.
“We could tell when he walked in here as a ninth-grader that we had a kid who could really be something special,” Catlett said. “It was just the way he carried himself. He was already a pretty well-built kid. He was very physical and aggressive from the first time he stepped on the field. That’s kind of unusual for kids that age.”
His name has remained somewhat under the radar due to playing in the trenches, but that started changing late in the 2003 season.
“He had five sacks against Seneca in the playoff game,” Catlett said. “He was really playing great for us toward the end of the season.
“What makes him so tough is it always takes two guys to block him. If you just use one against him, he’s going to beat that guy every time. He’s too strong and too quick for most high school kids. So people have to use two guys, he occupies them, and it allows your linebackers and other defensive players to get to the ball. He’s exactly what you look for in a defensive tackle.”
Catlett said Heyman will be one of Ballard’s most heavily recruited players ever. The last time he had so much early attention for a prospect was running back Jerami Johnson, who played at Indiana and Western Kentucky before going on to suit up for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati and some other area schools have already expressed interest. Heyman does not have an official scholarship offer yet, but Catlett said that should change in the near future.
“Earl’s big time,” he said. “He’s going to be a great player.”