August 1, 2011
Heffern examines his finalists
If all goes according to plan, Carmel defensive end Shawn Heffern will have his college chosen by the end of the month.
But that final decision - between Purdue and Indiana - is proving to be a difficult one.
"I'm just trying to get that gut feeling," Heffern said. "Hopefully I'll be able to commit by the start of my high school season. That's what I'm planning on."
Heffern, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound end who could develop into a tackle or offensive line prospect, has visited both Purdue and Indiana four times each, giving him a good perspective to make his decision. But that hasn't made it any easier.
"Where ever feels like home," he said trying to chose between the two, "because I'm going to be living there for four or five years. I want to feel really comfortable with the place and with the coaches and the everyday lifestyles of the schools.
"I'm an Indiana kid, so I've grown up watching Indiana and Purdue," he said. "I have a good feel for both schools."
Heffern says there are plenty of positives with each program. About the Boilers, he likes his relationship with the coaches.
"Coach (Donn) Landholm has been recruiting me for a long time. I talk to him probably once a week. Coach (Gary) Emanuel, as a defensive end coach, he's probably the most impressive coach I've talked to out of all the schools that have been recruiting me from the get-to. He's been in the NFL, and I have a lot of respect for him and you can tell he knows what he's doing.
"I've talked to Coach (Danny) Hope too, and I really have a good relationship with the coaches at Purdue."
Meanwhile, Heffern's family connections at IU have been a draw.
"I have a lot of family, a lot of cousins, aunts and uncles that went to IU. My mom played volleyball at IU, and I think they can have a very, very successful program. Those are the major pluses for IU. I just like the campus."
Heffern knows that a decision in the next month could bring an end to other options. Michigan State, where he camped last month, could be close to offering, but the Spartans have asked for more time. But Heffern says he's not waiting on others.
"It's basically between IU and Purdue," he said. "If another school would come in, I may consider them, but I don't want to go through my high school season waiting for offers and to have IU and Purdue as back-up options. I really like IU and Purdue, and I think it's a win-win situation, because both are good schools."
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