#41, Will Heffner, Sophomore, WLB
Weight: 219 lbs.
High School: Bishop Kelly High School, Boise, ID
How’d he get to The Blue™?
Well, he didn’t have to go far. Heffner was part of that Bishop Kelly class that recently won back to back state titles. In his junior year, he was only able to contribute in 4 games before BK’s version of the turf monster got him and he was out for the year. However, as a senior, Will had 41 receptions, for 745 yards, and a total of 895 all purpose yards. In addition to that, defensively, Heffner had 79 tackles, 3 picks, two TDs, and 4 (FOUR!) blocked kicks. Heffner is a Bronco legacy, with his father Terry playing for the Broncos in the 80s and his grandfather donning the blue and orange in the late 50s. Oh, and he is also the nephew of former BSU assistant and current Indianapolis Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano.
It just works
Kind of a bigger Grant Hedrick with more (and better) hair
Made an appearance in 3 games for the Broncos in 2016. Named to USA TODAY High School Sports' 4A All-SIC Team in 2014. Helped lead Knights to back-to-back state titles in 2014 and 2015.
Since his name is Will and he plays “WILL” linebacker, it seems the stars have aligned for young Heffner, and with a slew of current (and former) walk-ons currently filling the WLB depth chart—he may be in a fairly good spot for his sophomore year. First off, let’s look at who’s currently listed on the WLB depth chart. Right now, Leighton Vander Esch is the “big” name here as he’s expected to start and has been receiving the most preseason buzz. Behind LVE, we’ve got Heff, Provenzano (Nick, that is), and Bruno DeRose. Vander Esch is the clear favorite to start, but he was very breakable last season and with any more bad luck in 2017, we’re drilling into the reserves. Frankly, with 3 games under his Bronco belt...I’d think Heffner looks like our #2 at the position heading into camp.
The Broncos will have a few other true freshman linebackers in camp as well, and a few could definitely fit into the Broncos WLB plans. Breydon Boyd, is probably a MLB and could be a factor there, Zeke Noa—also more of a man-in-the-middle type—will probably be somewhat limited in camp and probably not play a factor in the WLB race anyway. Riley Whimpey, the tackling machine return missionary, could be someone to watch at this position depending on how quickly that post-mission rust is knocked off, and I think that Roman Kafentzis could easily play outside linebacker here if he isn’t too coveted by Gabe Franklin for a safety spot. So, as you can see...we have plenty of bodies, but not much experience heading into camp...this makes Heffner all the more intriguing as things kick off in a couple weeks.
Is he on Twitter?
Yep. Looks like he’s root, root, rootin’ for the Cubbies as well.
Completely made up fact
Heffner has seen E.T. 42 times and recently realized there was a film of the same name.