LAFAYETTE, Colo. – The Ohio State Buckeyes needed to find a suitable replacement for All-Conference eight man Santino Cua if they wanted to return to the Big Ten Championship game and the team may have found its man in D1A Player of the Week Nate Heister.
The freshman from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati scored tries in nonconference games against Bowling Green and Pittsburgh, but that was from the second row. It wasn’t until Ohio State’s Big Ten opener against Purdue that Heister would found himself at the back of the scrum, only to continue his try-scoring streak in a blowout win over the Boilermakers.
Heister, who Buckeyes Head Coach Tom Rooney describes as a “very respectful young man and a tough player,” had his best game of his young Ohio State career when he bagged a hat trick in a 78-0 win over Iowa.
The six-foot-two, 200-pound Civil Engineering major is one of a handful of freshman contributors. The coaching staff attributes Heister’s immediate impact to the hard work he put in during preseason training sessions.
“He had a bit of trouble adjusting to the speed of the college game and the pattern adjustments through multiple phase play,” Rooney recalled of Heister’s first couple of weeks on campus. “But the learning curve is shooting up. He’s getting it.”