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Defensive player of the week: Eddie Heckard

Eddie Heckard was dubbed the Big Sky Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week after his performance in Weber State University’s 35–34 win against the then-No. 2 Eastern Washington University on Oct. 26.

Eddie Heckard, No.5, celebrates with his teammates.
Eddie Heckard, 5, celebrates with his teammates. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

The Las Vegas native is going into his fifth season at WSU after playing as a freshman in 2017, redshirting in 2018 and 2019 and as a sophomore last season and this fall.

“I first heard about Weber State because a former teammate at my high school told me about the school in 2014 and later on, coach Hill recruited me to come play for the school,” Heckard said. “I heard about the school, but I never really considered going here before that.”

He played all six games in the short 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been in six of the eight games this season.

Heckard’s performance against EWU included a forced fumble and seven tackles, and arguably the most important play for the ‘Cats was Heckard’s intercepted a pass from Eagles quarterback Eric Barriere that included an 18-yard return.

Following the interception, WSU sophomore running back Kris Jackson found himself in the end zone after rushing 13 yards, extending the lead to 33–21 and then an additional 2 points after the ‘Cats’ 2-point conversion, 35–21.

Eddie Heckard, No.5, attempts to tackle a Montana State player.
Eddie Heckard, 5, attempts to tackle a Montana State player. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

“I was happy that I could finally make a play for the team so that the offense could go ahead and gets some points on the board,” Heckard said. “Then I realized it was a big play later on, so I wanted to make another.”

Eastern Washington would score two touchdowns to close the score to 35–34 after the Eagles kicker Seth Harrison missed a field goal attempt with 2:51 in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats would hold on to win against the Eagles.

Following the win, Heckard noticed on social media that the Big Sky named him the defensive player of the week, and he was surprised and glad at the same time.

“I was on Instagram, and a bunch of people were tagging me in their posts, then I realized I won the award,” Heckard said. “This was the first time I won this award, and I was happy when I found out, but I knew I could have done even better against Eastern Washington.”

Eddie Heckard, No. 5, runs toward teammates to celebrate.
Eddie Heckard runs toward teammates to celebrate. Photo credit: WSU Athletics

After the upset win, Heckard believes he and his teammates can do even better, moving up higher in the standings and potentially challenging for a playoff spot.

The ‘Cats traveled to Pocatello on Oct. 30 and collected a 40–17 win against the Idaho State Bengals. Heckard collected one tackle for WSU.

Following their win against ISU, the Wildcats improved to 4–4 overall and 3–2 in conference. The next chance to watch the Wildcats will be on Nov. 6, when Weber State hosts Portland State at Stewart Stadium.

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