Key BYU RMs to Watch: Austin Heder
No.4–MLB Austin Heder
The return of Zac Stout (6-2, 217 Jr.) at mike linebacker following his dismissal from school in 2012 is big for BYU football this year, and so is the return of Austin Heder (6-1, 241 So.) from his mission in Montreal, Canada.
The two of them create what should be a very solid 1-2 punch in the middle of the BYU defense, with Heder being more than capable as Stout’s back up after make a contribution on the offensive side of the ball prior to his mission.
As a true freshman, Austin saw time as a blocking fullback and played in five games.
He absolutely thrives on contact and is the quintessential hard-nosed run stuffer who simply brings his lunch pail every day. For that reason he is destined to be a favorite of Bronco Mendenhall.
He is bigger, and perhaps more physical, than any inside linebacker BYU has fielded in recent years. That toughness and physicality in the middle may come in handy following the loss of nose tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna, who is currently trying to earn a roster spot with the New England Patriots.
Heder returned from his mission in time to participate in spring practice and earned his spot on the two-deep. If not for Stout’s surprising comeback and excellent play this spring, the sophomore from Pleasant Grove would likely be the starter at MLB going into the start of fall camp.
As it is, expect Austin to see a significant number of reps this season in preparation for becoming the starter at the mike position in 2015 and 2016.
Learn more about Austin Heder from our article on him in 2011.