July 1, 2011

Indiana DE to camp at Michigan State

It is a good year for talent this year in the state of Indiana and Michigan State is actively recruiting several quality players from there. One player they are taking a close look at is defensive end Shawn Heffern of Carmel High School. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound prospect will be in East Lansing next week for camp.Spartanmag.com was able to catch up with Heffern and got the latest details on his recruitment.

If the name Shawn Heffern sound familiar to Spartan fans, it should. His father was a multiple year starter on the offensive line for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame back in the 1980's. The younger Heffern is now looking to make his mark in college football and already has multiple Division 1 scholarship offers on the table. SpartanMag.com asked him about the offers and the other teams he is regularly hearing from.

"I have several MAC offers (Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Toledo) and I have scholarships from Indiana and Purdue," Heffern said. "I am hearing from Northwestern Michigan State, Minnesota, Illinois, Cincinnati and Louisville."

Heffern has yet to visit Michigan State, but is looking forward to attend the Spartan 1-Day Camp next week and impressing the coaches. Spartan Coach Dave Warner is serving as the primary recruiter of Heffern for Michigan State.

"I was planning on visiting Michigan State during spring practice, but I had to cancel at the last minute, he said. "The coaches have said that if I come to camp and perform well I will have a good chance at earning a scholarship."

Heffern recently camped at his dad's alma-mater and had a strong performance there. He told Irish Illustrated the following about his cap performance there.

"They just said I was a natural defensive end and the issue is they're only bringing one defensive end in this class," Heffern said. "They said they like my versatility. For my height, at 6-foot-6 and 240-pounds, I have the ability to move and play like a linebacker with the size of a defensive end. I have the range and athletic ability. I'd say that I struggled a little bit getting used to drops in coverage, but when I went one-on-one against the offensive linemen, that was definitely the best part of the camp."

Heffern went on to indicate that the Irish Coaching Staff indicated are limited on scholarships at the defensive end position and it appears unlikely that they will have room for him.

Michigan State is in a similar spot at the defensive end position, but Heffern versatility is something the staff will be anxious to see in action. A few years ago the Spartans took a big athlete in Dan France. He projected as either a defensive end or tight end in college and worked mainly at those positions at camp. He is now battling for the stating offensive tackle spot as a 300-pound red-shirt sophomore.

SpartanMag.com asked Heffern what he is looking for in a school as far as helping him make a decision.

"Academics, I plan on going into business, so I'm looking for a good business school," he said. "The relationship I have with the players and coaches is also important since I will be there for 4 years."

SpartanMag.com will be sure to keep an eye on Heffern at the Spartan 1-Day Camp. It would not be a surprise if the staff has him workout at multiple positions during the day. While the Spartans are tight on scholarships for the class of 2012 they do need another defensive end and they also need an offensive tackle for this class.

At this point Heffern does not have BCS offensive tackle weight, but neither did Chris Patrick when he camped at Michigan State as a 6-foot-6 240-pound defensive end recruit. Patrick went on to become a multiple year starter at offensive tackle for Nebraska.

Matt Dorsey's Take:

Heffern could be a player that moves up the Spartan recruiting board at camp. Even if he does not receive and schoalrship offer, he could be on the short list of players the staff wants to follow this fall. If he is a 6-foot-6, 255-pounds in January he may project as an offensve tackle.

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