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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everything you need to know about Cam Heyward

Defensive End/Tackle
The Ohio State University Buckeyes
Suwanee, Georgia
Peachtree Ridge High School

The son of former NFL great, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, who passed away in 2006, Cameron is following his father’s path
to the professional ranks. But instead of carrying the ball like his father, Cameron is the one chasing down ball carriers in
the opposing backfields.

In his 11 seasons in the NFL, Craig Heyward amassed 4,301 rushing yards, 177 receptions for 1,559 yards, and 34
touchdowns. He played for the New Orleans Saints, who selected him 24th overall in the 1988 draft, Chicago Bears,
Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams, and Indianapolis Colts during his career.

Cameron started 46 of his final 47 games for the Buckeyes, appearing in 52 contests since forcing his way into the lineup
during the sixth game of his true freshman campaign. While listed as a defensive end, he was utilized at all four positions
on the defensive front wall. His fifteen quarterback sacks tied linebacker A.J. Hawk for 11th on the school all-time record
list, as his 37.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage places him tenth in OSU annals.

At Peachtree Ridge High School, Heyward received a four-star prospect rating from That recruiting service
ranked him as the seventh-best overall prospect in the state of Georgia and the 13th-best defensive tackle in the nation. ranked him 15th overall in the state and 20th nationally at his position.

A scholar-athlete, Heyward was named the 2006 Georgia Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year, helping Peachtree
Ridge capture the state championship that season. He produced 103 tackles with 12 sacks as a sophomore, adding two
sacks with 48 stops as a junior before ending his prep career with 88 tackles and 11 sacks during his senior campaign. He
graduated with a 3.2 grade point average.

Heavily pursued by Florida, Georgia and Louisiana State, Heyward instead signed his national letter of intent to attend
Ohio State on January 31, 2007, having been recruited by former Buckeyes defensive lineman and assistant coach, Luke
Fickell. In 2007, he played in a reserve role for the first five games, but he took over weak-side defensive end duties for
the final eight contests, recording ten stops for loss, 2.5 sacks and 33 tackles (21 solos) for OSU’s national championship
runner-up squad.

Coming off 2007 Freshman All-American honors, Heyward started all 13 games in 2008, rotating across the defensive
line. He produced 36 tackles (13 solos) that included three sacks and 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as OSU
went on to lose to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl.

As a junior, Heyward garnered All-Big Ten Conference second-team honors. He started 12-of-13 contests, coming up with
46 tackles (21 solos) while finishing tied for eighth in the league with 6.5 sacks. He also posted 10 stops for loss and
recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the Michigan clash.

Voted team captain as a senior, he received All-Big Ten first-team accolades in 2010. He recorded a career-best 48
tackles (23 solos) that included three sacks, as his 13.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage tied for fifth in the league. He
advanced a fumble recovery 9 yards vs. Ohio University and rumbled 80 yards with an interception vs. Miami.

Heyward closed out his career with a pair of assisted sacks and 3.5 stops for loss among his six tackles vs. Arkansas in
the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

Heyward started 46-of-52 games at Ohio State, missing just one starting assignment in his final 46 appearances...
Recorded 163 tackles (78 solos) with 15.0 sacks for minus 98 yards, 37.5 stops for losses totaling 150 yards and six
quarterback pressures...Recovered two fumbles, including one in the end zone for a touchdown...Gained 80 yards on a
pass theft and broke up five other throws...Also caused two fumbles...Heyward’s 80-yard fumbled interception return vs.
Miami in 2010 ranks as the seventh-longest return by a Buckeye in school annals and the longest run back by a defensive
lineman...His 37.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage rank tenth in school annals, while his 13.0 stops in 2010 placed
tied for 23rd on the Buckeyes season-record chart...Totaled 150 yards in losses on those tackles, the 13th-best career
total by an OSU player...Tied A.J. Hawk (2002-05) for 11th place on the school all-time record list with 15.0 sacks...
Amassed minus 98 yards from those sacks, tying John Kacherski (1988-91) for 15th on the school career-record chart.


Steve-O said...

Heyward is a solid pick, but I thought the need for CB and OT was greater and the value at 31 was still there. Nevertheless, I think our front 7 on defense is solid for the next few years and that should ease the pressure on the DB's.

Now I hope we can get a solid if not spectacular OT or CB in the 2nd round.

Anonymous said...

I ran into his mom a few years ago before I knew who her son was - it was small talk and then she said she "Bleeds Black and Gold" - so he comes from good family, that's for sure.

Eric T said...

I think the haste in which the Steelers FO made this pick speaks volumes as to how high they rated Heyward. In Colbert we trust.

Steve-O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve-O said...

I came across this interesting tidbit, Heyward took part in a mini-documentary sponsored by Gatorade. He went to Texas Stadium for the Superbowl and saw the Steeler's Logo in the endzone and gushed that it was a sign that he would become a Pittsburgh Steeler. Here's a link to the YouTube video, if you got to 3:40 you'll see Heyward making his prediction:

Dale Lolley said...

I don't love the pick. Heyward was the last of the true 3-4 guys available - at least at end. But he's not truly explosive - ala. Ziggy Hood.
He's a good but not great player. Then again, picking at 31, that's what you get.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think would have been a better pick?

Anonymous said...

he grew up a steelers fan, awesome!! No wonder he was so emotional

marc said...

not a bad pick, but you have to trust colbert and co. on it given their history of first round picks.

i think this also illustrates they don't see much separation in quality of DB's amongst williams, harris, dowling, moore. they are probably figuring to get one of them in 2nd round.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a guy who will be an average starter, not great value for a first round pick. Ziggy Hood had tons of upside when we got him, this guy has none.

I wish we had taken Sherrod.

joe said...

reading about heyward, sounds like he will be a very solid end for us. good pick
i don't think any corner we picked at 31 would have done us much good next year anyway.

amazes me that teams like the lions/bungles/rams etc draft in the top five so often, yet for the most part continue to flounder.
newton number 1 ??
pouncey that early ??

Anonymous said...

I don't know Dale. I watched a lot of game tape on him and he is almost always pushing guys into the backfield, clogging up lanes, taking on double teams, blocking passes, and making tackles when he is single blocked. Tight ends can't block him and he can drop into the backfield (a la Keisel) and has soft hands for a lineman. I think Lebeau is salivating at this pick. He is a perfect 3/4 end and will be solid for us for years. How many times do Aaron Smith or Keisel actually get to the quarterback. What I saw of him on tape suggests he will be a good replacement for an aging D line. I agree he is not our top need right now but I bet their plan will be to trade up in the second round if the CB's start getting snatched up. There are still a ton of quality CB's available. Unfortunatley due to our own success great 3/4 ends like this cannot be found in the 4th or 7th rounds any longer.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

datruth4life said...


One of the things Jon Gruden said about Heyward made a ton of sense. He said that after watching tape, he found Heyward is most successful playing over the guard spot on 3rd down and nickel packages and rushing the QB. That is the position he's going to play when teams continually try to spread the Steelers out -- over the guard spot playing inside with Ziggy, Keisel and Aaron with Woodley and J. Harrison bringing the heat from outside. I also liked the way the Steelers took about 5 seconds to make that pick.

I think the fact that A. Williams and B. Harris not going in the first round told you a lot about what 31 other teams thought about them, that they are 2nd round if not later corners. K. Colbert has shown a propensity to trade up in the 2nd round to get their man, so I hope he moves up to take either Ras-I Dowling, Curtis Brown, or Brandon Burton. They key is to come out of this draft with 2 CB's and an OL who are ready to get on the field next year. Remaining draft:

2. CB Ras-I Dowling, UVa
3. LT/RT Marcus Gilbert, Fla.
4. CB Curtis Marsh, Utah State
5. RB Da’rel Scott, Maryland
6. ILB Mario Harvey, Marshall
7. G/T Jarriel King, South Carolina

marc said...

i like the heyward pick more and more.

what would it tiake to move up in the second round?

Anonymous said...

So relieved it wasn't Aaron Williams.

Anonymous said...

"Heyward is most successful playing over the guard spot on 3rd down and nickel packages and rushing the QB. That is the position he's going to play when teams continually try to spread the Steelers out -- over the guard spot playing inside with Ziggy, Keisel and Aaron with Woodley and J. Harrison bringing the heat from outside."

sounds cool, especially since he'll likely have almost no play time in the base defense unless we are hit with a wave of injuries

Jim Pete said...

There is a lot of upside with regards to Heyward. After his junior year, many thought he had the ability to be a top five pick.

Then he had an off year.

Under the right circumstances and development, Heyward becomes a great value pick. He can push folks off the ball...he can speed rush...and he does have an outstanding motor.

...and when it all comes together, Heyward can dominate an entire game.

He won't have to do that in Pittsburgh any time soon...but imagine a couple of years learning.

He's going to be a beast...and with

datruth4life said...

Marc, I think it's going to cost a 4th round pick to move up in the 2nd. I think they need to move up into the top 15 to have a shot at Ras-I or A. Williams. I wouldn't give up my 3rd round pick because that will have to be my OL in this draft. Hopefully they can trade a 2nd & 4th for a team's 2nd & 6th. It would be great to get a pick back because there will be some value in the 6th round in this draft.

marc said...

that doesn't seem to workout on the draft value chart. to move up to the 2.15 the steelers would have to give them 2.31, 3.31, 5.31.

unless i'm reading it wrong.

Vaflyer said...

Our starting ends right now are 7th round and 4th round picks. Our backups, who will be starters before we know it, our both 1st round picks. I expect this will also impact the kind of guy we have at NT in our base defense. The pass will cause us to use 2 man D-fronts, Hood and Heyward.

It would not surprise me if we wait to take a NT now until next year. I look for the team to keep to its philosophy...Best Player Available.

marc said...

i think it will be tough for the steelers to move up in the second round without giving up a pick from next year.

with that said, i expect they will end up taking an o-linemen near the end of the 2nd round.

Dale Lolley said...

Given that Sherrod was there, I would have taken him. At the very least, he's in the mix to be a starting guard this year.
Heyward likely doesn't help at all this year.
Plus, watch the Wisconsin game with Heyward. He got pushed all over the field. Not saying he won't get better with coaching, but he needs to get stronger and use better leverage.

marc said...

i thought they would take sherrod as well. obviously, they have heyward rated higher for whatever reason.

with how things seem to be playing out, i don't think there will be any immediate impacts from this year's draft, unless due to injuries.

datruth4life said...


I wouldn't trade my 3rd & 5th to move up in the 2nd round. I wasn't looking at a value chart, just saying what I would give up to move up. If Brandon Burton or Curtis Brown are there at the end of the 2nd, then they'll probably be the pick. It'll be interesting to see if they'll move up in the 2nd or just sit tight during the entire draft and take what falls to them.

Anonymous said...

So Smith, Hampton and Keisel start. When Smith and Keisel go down its Hood and who? You don't think it will be Heyward?

Dale Lolley said...

Now you're talking about injuries. That's something completely different. But if everyone stays healthy, he doesn't play. Heck, he might not even dress.

Plus, the last two defensive ends they drafted from OSU didn't work out so well. I realize they were late-round guys, but neither could stick.