Junior to Watch: Antonio Heffner
School: Memphis (Tenn.) Melrose HS
Size and speed: Heffner is 6-foot-3, weighs 180 pounds, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
Statistics: As a junior, he completed 82 of 165 passes for 1,439 yards and 18 touchdowns in nine games. He also rushed for three scores.
Honors: Was selected all-city and all-region as a junior.
Favorite Schools: Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kentucky, Notre Dame.
Skinny: Memphis Melrose’s Antonio Heffner is positioning himself as the top quarterback in the Volunteer State for the Class of 2004.
The 6-3, 180-pound Heffner has drawn early scholarship offers from LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He’s also receiving heavy interest from Tennessee, Auburn, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Louisville, Michigan State and North Carolina among a host of others.
“He may not have the stats that some of the other quarterbacks put up, but that’s because we have an extremely balanced offense,” Melrose coach Kedrick Ingram said. “We have three really good players in our backfield, so they kind of split up the yards and scoring, but when people see Antonio on film, that’s when they’re really impressed.
“LSU called and offered on the spot after they saw his film. And they told me they weren’t really planning on signing another big quarterback after getting a couple last year. That shows you how much they think of Antonio.”
So what makes Heffner so special?
“He’s got all the tools,” Ingram said. “He’s a good athlete. He has the size and the feet. He’s got a really strong arm. He can throw it 65 yards, but he’s also accurate. People who watch his film immediately fall in love with the way he throws the deep out. That’s probably the hardest throw to make, and Antonio makes it look easy. He’s got the arm strength and accuracy to get the ball into what seems to be impossible places.
“He’s also a real smart and poised kid. He makes good decisions and has some good leadership skills.”
Heffner maintains a 2.8 GPA and is expected to be a full qualifier, according to Ingram.