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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2024 OL Kevin Heywood "Looks Like A Notre Dame Offensive Lineman"

February 21, 2023
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Mike Watkins understands exactly why Notre Dame is after Kevin Heywood‍.

“You look at him and look at the way he plays, he looks like a Notre Dame offensive lineman,” Watkins says of the 2024 Pennsylvania offensive lineman.

Watkins, who is the head coach at The Pennington School, was the head coach at Bishop McDevitt when Heywood was a freshman. They both went to Archbishop Wood when Bishop McDevitt was closed before Watkins ended up at Pennington.

“Kevin has been through a lot through his high school career,” Watkins says.

“As a kid, Kev is extremely determined. He's a kid who knows what he wants. He's going to work his tail off to get it and he's proven that. He's not a kid who's chasing logos or totaling up his offers. He's not interested in all that stuff. He's interested in just putting his head down, working and finding the right fit for him.”

He may not be interested in totaling up offers, but that’s definitely the result of the work he’s been doing.

The 6-foot-7, 290-pounder currently has offers from the Irish along with Penn State, Pitt, Georgia, Tennessee, Duke, Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin among others.

“Kevin's just done a really nice job through this process and he earned a lot,” says Watkins. “His offers started this past summer. His first offer was from UConn at a camp. It just blew up.

“Once coaches actually get to see what you have in him, the potential is through the roof. I think his ceiling is just so high. That's why there's a lot of coaches in the SEC and the Big 10, ACC who are really, really excited about him. He's got a lot of opportunities out there.”

Irish assistant Al Golden has been handling Heywood’s recruitment so far.

“Coach Golden's been recruiting him now for a little bit and he's done a nice job,” Watkins says. “He obviously knows the Philadelphia area really well…I know (Marcus) Coach Freeman's continuing to build that offensive line. Kev's as impressive of an offensive lineman as I've ever had.”

“When you're 6-7 and change and you're 305 and you can bend the way that he bends, he's extremely athletic for that size. He's real flexible. When he's in the weight room, you can actually see how far he gets down. He's just got great flexibility, great bend, really, really good athlete.”

Heywood grew up as a basketball player, but as he got older, turned his focus to football.

“He plays with a nasty, nasty edge,” says Watkins. “He is one of those throwback linemen. He's going to finish every play, plays with a chip on his shoulder, going to play until the whistle blows. He makes things easy for a high school coach.”

Notre Dame is a school that has Heywood’s interest.

“I feel like every kid should have Notre Dame on that list as one of the schools that you would love to go to,” says Watkins. “His family and I have been talking and Kev's been talking and we want to get on campus at some point for spring ball and see how it goes. He wants to see how the coaches are coaching the players and how they respond to the coaching.

“Obviously, Notre Dame is now in some transition looking for a new offensive line coach. That'll be interesting to see what direction Coach Freeman decides to go.

Every school recruiting him is hoping to get him on campus this spring, so Heywood and his support circle will sit down and map out a plan soon.

Heywood told ISD he’s hoping to have the process complete before the start of his senior season.

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