Georgia Tech was one of the first offers for Connor Heyward, the son of a former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowler.
Heyward is a rising junior at Peachtree Ridge High School. His father was Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, the former NFL fullback who died of a brain tumor in 2006.
“I think my father would be very proud of me to see the man I’m becoming,” Heyward told the AJC. “And he would just tell me to keep on being the person I am, and don’t change for anybody or anything.”
There’s a lot to like about Connor. He is being recruited as an athlete by most colleges, but has stepped up to play quarterback at Peachtree Ridge this season out of team needs.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Heyward has attracted eight early offers, with the biggest ones being Tech, Louisville, Arizona State and Pitt.
“I don’t have any favorites yet or anything,” he said. “I’m just taking it one step at a time.”
One of Heyward’s older brothers is Corey Heyward, who plays basketball at Georgia Tech. Connor likes Tech because of the family connection, the academics, and the proximity to home.
“Ted Roof, the defensive coordinator, actually lives in my neighborhood and I see him quite a bit when he’s walking with his wife, so I just stop by and say hey to them,” Heyward said.
Another one of Heyward’s older brothers is Cameron Heyward, who starred at Ohio State and was a first-round pick by the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Many recruiting analysts predict that Connor will go to Ohio State if gets an offer.
“Yes (I would go there), but I would definitely think it over with my family and everything,” Heyward said. “They would become one of my leaders.”
Connor had a tight relationship with his late father, who retired from the NFL after the 1998 season. “Ironhead” died when Connor was seven years old, and he’s always in his son’s thoughts.
“I just can’t sit here and be sorry and stuff like that,” Connor said. “He would want me to be happy and just do what I love to do and have fun doing it.”