Heikkinen Waiting On NFL Draft, Pro Hopes

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 9:50 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- It doesn't matter if it's a crawl at the bottom of the screen or if his name is read by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell --- Garth Heikkinen just knows it would be fun to be drafted.

The 2013 NFL Draft is scheduled to start this Thursday with the first round, with rounds 2-3 set for Friday and rounds 4-7 set for Saturday.

The Duluth, Minn. native says some teams have told him not to get too far away from his phone in the later rounds, possibly indicating that he will be the first drafted player from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) since offensive lineman Brent Griffith in 1990.

Heikkinen collected a school-record 11 All-American citations during his time as a Bulldog, with another school-record eight of those being first team selections.

He was just the second UMD player to ever be invited to the East-West Shrine Game, where he got the chance to play against some top-level Division I athletes.

"The jump from Division II to Division I isn't as big as one would think," Heikkinen said of his experience. "It's a speed adjustment and then the mental stuff. A lot of football is the same stuff, just with different people calling it different things. It's all terminology."

Should Heikkinen go undrafted, he would become a free agent and able to sign with any NFL team. He said that scenario might actually be better, in that he would get to pick the team he wanted to play for instead of being forced to go to the team that drafted him.

Posted by Zach Schneider
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