Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Sam Heckel
College: Syracuse University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-4, 295 pounds, redshirt sophomore, offensive lineman
High School: Waukesha West in Waukesha, Wisc.
About Heckel: Became a regular along the Orange offensive line in 2017 when he started all 12 games, registered more than 1,000 snaps at guard and center and led Syracuse in knockdown blocks with 41. … A rare disease patient and survivor who has to manage his condition with treatments, Heckel is the President of the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. … Prior to coming to Syracuse he was a two-time All-State selection in Wisconsin and finished as the runner-up for the 2015 Joe Thomas award, presented to Wisconsin’s top high school offensive lineman.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Heckel: Beating Clemson last year at home and having the crowd rush the field. That was an absolutely breathtaking moment.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
Heckel: I am a survivor of a rare disease. I suffer from congenital thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura, which is an extremely rare disease. I understand how under funded research is for these rare diseases. I was supposed to die years ago due to my condition but pulled through. Now that I survived and play college football, I need to give back to those who are in my shoes.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
Heckel: College athletics is a great platform to spread awareness about the rare disease community. The players have the ability to make a substantial difference through sports to help fund and spread awareness. It is truly a heart-warming experience.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
Heckel: Running out of the tunnel has to be one of my favorite parts of the Carrier Dome. Gives me the chills every time. Outside of the game, I enjoy listening to music and praying during my pregame.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Heckel: Larry Fitzgerald. The Arizona Cardinals vet receiver is the perfect example of a player doing the right things on and off the field.
If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
Heckel: Mac Miller. He’s been my favorite artist since I can remember.
What is your favorite road stadium you ever played in and why?
Heckel: Clemson. Between the quality of the stadium and the loudness of the crowd, that atmosphere is what college football should be everywhere.
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS
What is your perfect pizza?
Heckel: Thick crust with olives and green peppers and red pepper flakes
Last 3 songs you added to your playlist?
Heckel: 2009- Mac Miller; Come back to earth- Mac Miller and Penthouse- Wiz Khalifa
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Heckel: Culvers, always
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
Heckel: Milwaukee Bucks
What is the most used app on your phone?
No. 1 goal for yourself in 5 years?
Heckel: To be in the NFL