Jeff Heath (American football)

Jeff Heath
No. 38     Dallas Cowboys
Strong Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-05-14) May 14, 1991
Place of birth: Lake Orion, Michigan
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
College: Saginaw Valley State
Undrafted in 2013
Debuted in 2013 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • First team All-GLIAC (2012)
  • Second team All-GLIAC (2011)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Tackles 60
Interceptions 1
Passes defensed 3
Sacks 0.0
Forced fumbles 1
Stats at NFL.com

Jeff Heath (born May 14, 1991) is an American football safety for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Saginaw Valley State.

Early years

Heath attended Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan. His father, Mike Heath, played semi-pro football and serves as an assistant football coach at Lake Orion.[1][2] Jeff was selected as the Big Play Player of the Year for kicking a game-winning 49 yard field goal to give Lake Orion a playoff victory and regional title over Sterling Heights Stevenson. The team would advance to the Michigan Division 1 state championship game in 2008 before falling to Rockford High School.[3] Heath started as a defensive back and was voted team captain his senior year.

Heath played college football at Saginaw Valley State University, a NCAA Division II program and member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Heath was not heavily recruited out of high school, and was only offered a partial scholarship with SVSU.[4] Heath was named to the first team All-GLIAC in 2012 and second team All-GLIAC in 2011.

Professional career

Pre-draft

At his pro day, Heath ran a 7.0 40 yard dash, bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times, and had a 37 inch vertical leap[5]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Broad BP Wonderlic
6-1 * 209 lb * 4.40 * 1.59 * 2.70 * 4.36 * 6.88 * 10'06" * 22 * x
(* represents GLIAC Pro Day March 11, 2013)

Dallas Cowboys

On April 27, 2013, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, a team that scouted him in college and that was the first one to contact him following the 2013 NFL draft.[6]

During the preseason, Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News proclaimed Heath could be the Cowboys next sleeper college gem.[7] He was eventually named to the Cowboys 53 man roster as a reserve safety and special teams player.[8]

Heath made his first NFL start on October 27, 2013 at Free safety against his hometown Detroit Lions.[9] He started in place of injured starter J.J. Wilcox and finished the game with 9 tackles and a forced fumble.[10] In that game he also was part of a highlight reel reception, when he lost a jump ball to Calvin Johnson.

The next two games proved difficult, with Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson running over him for a touchdown and being beaten for three touchdowns while playing against the New Orleans Saints.

After Wilcox returned from injury, Heath remained the starter after proving to be a more reliable and productive player. He finished the season with six starts, 60 tackles (sixth on the team), 6 passes defensed (tied for fourth) and 13 special teams tackles (led the team).

Heath enters the 2014 season with the Cowboys as a backup safety and special teams contributor.

References

  1. ^ http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/cowboys/post/_/id/4718005/heath-to-make-first-start-in-homecoming
  2. ^ http://www.lodragonfootball.com/coaches3.html
  3. ^ http://saginawbay.blogspot.com/2012/10/sterling-heights-stevenson-history-and.html
  4. ^ http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2013/10/lake_orion_family_friends_cele.html
  5. ^ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=97368&draftyear=2013&genpos=SS
  6. ^ "SVSU defensive back Jeff Heath signs as undrafted free agent with Dallas Cowboys". mlive.com. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/columnists/rick-gosselin/20130825-gosselin-safety-jeff-heath-may-be-dallas-cowboys-next-overlooked-college-gem.ece
  8. ^ http://www.mlive.com/sports/bay-city/index.ssf/2013/08/svsu_alum_jeff_heath_makes_cow.html
  9. ^ http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/9878569/demarco-murray-chance-play-detroit-lions
  10. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=331027008

External links

  • Saginaw Valley State bio
  • Dallas Cowboys bio
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