Kevin Heywood grew up a Penn State football fan.
A native of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, less than hours away from State College, Heywood enjoyed Penn State from an early age and admired players like superstar running back Saquon Barkley and offensive lineman Ryan Bates.
One of his fondest Penn State football memories occurred in the fall of 2016.
Heywood, then in the fifth grade, sat with his youth football teammates at a friend’s house and watched Penn State beat Iowa, 41-14, in a Saturday night game at Beaver Stadium.
Fast forward nearly six years, and Kevin— whose older sister, Claire, is starting her freshman year at Penn State later this month— is a 6-foot-7.5, 280-pound offensive tackle at Bishop McDevitt High School.
Heywood has grown nearly six inches in the past two years, and his recruitment has begun to take off this summer. Between May 29 and June 12, UConn, Rutgers and, yes, Penn State, offered Heywood, and Michigan did the same on the first day of July.
Heywood made his first unofficial visit to Penn State in early April, and last weekend, he went on his second, attending the Lasch Bash.
Nittany Sports Now caught up with him afterward.
Here is what NSN asked Heywood and how he responded.
Nittany Sports Now: What do you think you got out of your experience this time that maybe you didn’t get over the first time you visited Penn State?
Kevin Heywood: I felt more at home this time. The first time when I went on my unofficial, it was just like me and the coaches. But now there were kids there, and they made me feel at home.
NSN: How do you and (2024 Penn State OL commit) Cooper Cousins get along?
KH: Me and Cooper get along well. After the Lasch Bash, me and him were talking it up, all that. We get along very well.
NSN: How’s your experience been with some of the 2023 commits?
KH: It’s been good. I get along with them all well. They all make me feel at home there. They’re all supportive.
NSN: What’s your relationship with (offensive line) coach (Phil) Trautwein like?
KH: Really good. We talk weekly. I call him weekly because he can’t call me or text me, but I’m allowed to call him. It’s gotten way stronger since I got the offer from Penn State.
*Note: College coaches won’t be able to call Heywood or any high school player from the Class of 2024 until Sept. 1.
NSN: What do you remember about what you felt when you got that Penn State offer?
KH: It was really shocking to me because my sister’s already going there, one, and I always watched Penn State on TV, and it was really big for me. Penn State’s a powerhouse school.”
NSN: Did it surprise you at all getting a slew of offers in such a fast period?
KH: Yeah. It came fast. I blew up fast. Crazy.
NSN: What do you look forward to about getting even more offers as you play your junior year?
KH: I look forward to it. I love the love from the coaches. I just want to find somewhere where I feel at home.
NSN: Where would you say Penn State stands in your recruitment right now?
KH: Penn State’s big on my recruitment right now. I have a good eye on Penn State right now.
NSN: Talking more about coach Traut, how would you describe him as a person for somebody that doesn’t know him?
KH: He’s a great coach. He will point out everything you need to do to make yourself a better player. He’s a great coach, but he’s a great human being to be around.
NSN: Has anything that he’s pointed out to you helped you become a better player?
KH: Yes, sir… He basically made my kick step better, made my hands, made my punch better. Gave me a lot of tips.
NSN: How would you describe yourself as an offensive lineman?
KH: Very powerful. I have a great punch.
NSN: How do you think you’ve gotten better from where you were freshman year to where you are now going in as an upperclassman?
KH: My freshman, sophomore years, I was definitely defensive-minded. This is my first season going on offense because I didn’t expect to grow from 6-4 to 6-8.
NSN: Not every person that attended the Lasch Bash has an offer from Penn State. You got yours, so how much less tense did that make the experience, being that you already have your offer?
KH: It feels really good because since I have the offer, I feel more like Penn State’s my home. If I didn’t have the offer, I would feel like I have to prove something more.
NSN: Is it fair to say that you’ve been a Penn State fan growing up?
KH: Yeah. Yes, I have.
NSN: What was it like getting an offer from Michigan?
KH: It was good. I went to camp there, and then I got a call and I got the offer. I felt pumped because Michigan’s another powerhouse school.
NSN: So this is an exciting time for you, obviously starting to get offers, going into your junior year, so what are you most excited about as you’re going to begin training camp pretty soon and then start your junior season?
KH: I’m really excited. I want to prove my point to every school in the nation.