“Ironhead” Heyward’s Son High on Hawkeyes

January 6, 2016

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

When Iowa steps outside the region to recruit, it helps to be ahead of the pack for a prospect. Some creativity also doesn’t hurt.

The Hawkeyes traveled both paths in the pursuit of Connor Heyward. They were the first ones to offer the Class of 2017 Suwanee (GA) Peachtree Ridge High standout. They’ve also kept an open mind on how they’d use him.

“They’re telling me that I can go both ways and be a two-way player,” the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder said. “I like that they’re giving me an opportunity to see what’s going to fit me best.”

Heyward hails from a family of high-level athletes. His father, the late Craig “Ironed” Heyward, is remembered as a bruising running back at the University of Pittsburgh and in the NFL. One of his brothers, Cam Heyward, plays defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while another sibling, Corey Heyward, is a junior on the Georgia Tech basketball team.

In addition to Iowa, Heyward also reports scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt. Programs like Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and Wisconsin are showing him interest.

Rivals, Scout and 247 all rank Heyward as a three-star prospect. He’s Rivals’ No. 38 Athlete in the ’17 Class and 247 has him at 46.

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Heyward plays all over the field for Peachtree Ridge. Max Preps shows that this season he threw for 276 yards, ran for 82 and caught passes for 340 more. He threw a touchdown pass, ran for four scores and caught three balls in the end zone while also playing defense on a roster loaded with Division I talent.

Throughout his season and stretching back from before Iowa offered him a scholarship midway through his sophomore school year, Heyward and Iowa Assistant LeVar Woods have been building a strong relationship.

“He talks to me a lot about their top-notch facilities,” Heyward said. “I can tell he’s a very loyal person and someone who is serious about what he does.”

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Since Iowa has been recruiting Heyward long and hard, he watched them as much as he could this season. The Hawkeyes finished 12-2 and in the Rose Bowl.

“They had a great year and the team is up and coming,” he said. “They are recruiting me very hard and they are selling their school well.”

Heyward said Woods has talked with him about playing strong safety on defense and running back and receiver on offense.

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“Hopefully I can get up there and visit sometime soon before I have to rush later on,” Heyward said.

Heyward said he’s not hurrying his recruiting process, however.

“I like Vandy, Pitt, Iowa and Ohio State right now but I feel like more (opportunities are) going to open up. I’m taking it slowly,” he said.

Heyward said he’s considering college majors in Business or Sports Management.

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