June 10, 2011

Carmel defensive end visiting Purdue soon

An offer from Purdue in recent days has Carmel defensive end Shawn Heffern wanting to take a closer look at the Boilermakers.

And he'll do so soon, with plans to visit West Lafayette next week. It won't be his first trip to campus, having been here for a spring practice, a junior day and a game last season.

"I already know a lot (about Purdue)," the 6-foot-6, 240-pound end said. "I just want to talk to the players, see how they are and talk to the coaches more and see where I'd fit in."

Heffern, who has offers from Purdue, Indiana, Toledo and Western and Central Michigan, has a busy month ahead. After his planned visits IU (Saturday) and Purdue - an exact day that has yet to be set - he'll be at camps at Northwestern (Tuesday), Michigan State (June 18) and Notre Dame (June 23).

"I'm looking forward to showing off what I can do," he said, "so it should be fun."

Heffern says he thinks more offer could come his way if he has good showings at camps. Northwestern, Louisville, Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Michigan State have shown a lot of interest, he says.

"I'm just going to wait it out and see what happens," he said.

But he's excited about the offer from the Boilermakers. Purdue, he says, has stressed to him its tradition of talented defensive ends and outside linebackers, the later of which Heffern played as a sophomore.

"They've showed me - and I forget the number - but tons of Purdue football players who have gone to the NFL playing defensive end or outside linebacker," he said. "It was a big number."

Along with the two defensive positions, Heffern also says some schools are recruiting him as an offensive player, likely either a tight end or offensive tackle. He says, though, he's not concerned about where he ends up, only that he gets an opportunity to play early.

"I'd say I'm a pretty smart player," he said when asked to describe his strengths. "I'm good at reading my keys and also I'm really long, 6-6 with long arms. So a lot of plays that people can't make, maybe if I'm a little out of position, I can reach out there. I'm pretty athletic for my size."

Heffern says he's going to take the rest of the summer to evaluate schools, and hopes to have a decision by the time his senior season starts in late August.

"My top three (criteria) would probably be academics. I'm going into business, so I'm looking for a good business school," he said. "Also, the relationship with me and the coaches. Those are the two main things, but also how I feel about the players, how they act and if I can see myself being with them for four years."

"It's pretty wide open right now. I'm definitely really interested in IU and Purdue. IU was the first BCS school to offer me, so I definitely take that into account, and Purdue wasn't far behind. The fact that they were the first two (is big). And Central Michigan was my first offer, so I respect them for pulling the trigger like that."

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