Aztecs sign speedy recruit Heath McRee

Heath McRee on his official visit to SDSU with SDSU WR coach Lanear Sampson. (Credit: X @HeathMcRee0)

Heath McRee at his high school signing day ceremony. (Credit: X @HeathMcRee0)

Speed is a huge factor in being a great wide receiver. Wideouts constantly emphasize how important this attribute is in getting off the line and creating separation from defenders.

This is not a problem for newly signed Aztec Heath McRee, who is not only a star on the gridiron but on the track as well.

The Texas product’s personal best in the 100-meter sprint is 10.33. To put that into perspective, that time almost matched what Jesse Owens ran (10.3) in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. McRee’s time in the 200, 21.4, nearly matched Owens’ top time of 20.7 as well.

McRee’s speed shows when he steps onto a football field for Westlake High School in Austin. On film, he took punts or kick returns to the house, going zero to sixty immediately and leaving his opponents well behind. With that explosiveness, McRee has been a weapon not only on deep balls but on screens and reverses as well. This new addition should be exciting to watch on The Mesa for years to come.

SDSU’s signing day graphic announcing Heath McRee’s addition to the program(Credit: X @AztecFB)

“Heath is the home run threat that all college coaches want,” Westlake head coach Tony Salazar told EVT. “He can score anytime he touches the ball. Whether that be vertical passing game on offense or in the kick-off and punt return units. … We have never had a kid as fast as Heath, therefore, his skill set is pretty unique. He will be a tremendous player at the next level.”

Running track has helped him develop into a faster football player. When asked how the track translates to the gridiron, McRee pointed out that running techniques are applicable in both arenas.

McRee plans to compete again this season for Westlake. As much as his speed stands out now, it could be even more pronounced in the summer when he arrives on campus. “I love running track because I always come into the football season faster,” McRee said.

All that speed helps him out when running routes that require quick bursts of speed to create separation, as well as running past defenders on deep routes.

The confidence created by combining track speed and technique with football shows. The track star stated, “I play at a high speed at all times and will burn the top off any defense.”

Bringing McRee to San Diego

The recruiting process can be very competitive, with schools needing to create an edge over each other to make a great impression on recruits. This starts with the coaches developing relationships with an athlete all the way down to the player who hosts him on his official visits. McRee spoke highly of SDSU in both areas.

“Coach Sampson and Coach Lewis were my two main recruiters,” the two-sport athlete revealed. “Both great coaches that I have an amazing relationship with that’s only going to grow….Danny O’Neil was my host, and he did a great job showing me around and meeting the team.”

That bonding off the field will translate over to the battles they will endure together on the gridiron.

When asked about the highlights of his official visit, he made sure to give a nod to the great food in San Diego. He mentioned Eureka! located in the South Campus Plaza as, a spot he visited twice in three days.

Snapdragon Stadium also made a big impression on McRee and his family. His mother, in particular, was “blown away” by how nice SDSU’s new home is. In just a short time, the crown jewel of SDSU Mission Valley has turned into a great recruiting advantage for the program.

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Heath McRee on his official visit to SDSU with head coach Sean Lewis and WR coach Lanear Sampson. (Credit: X @HeathMcRee0)

McRee’s decision to move halfway across the continent for college was made easier because he has family close by in Los Angeles. Ultimately, though, it was Lewis and Sampson’s honesty in the recruiting process and the culture at SDSU that attracted him to The Mesa.

“The fans really care about Aztec sports,” McRee explained. “I got to see it first hand by going to a basketball game. I know that Coach Lewis is gonna fill seats in the stadium and bring Aztec football back to what it was.”

As high as McRee’s qualities on the field are, what he brings off the field is just as important. His reputation as a teammate, student, and person at Westlake shows that SDSU is adding a quality human to their program.

“SDSU is getting a great teammate who is a tremendous competitor,” Salazar said. “Heath will (give) all he has to be on the field and prepared to help his team win … Heath is a charming young man who is loved by his classmates and teachers.”

Salazar’s confidence in McRee is outstanding, given his experience of over ten years at Westlake. He joined the program in 2014 and has seen many players come and go, making him a great judge of not only athletic ability but character as well.

Every year, it is exciting to see what new recruits the Aztecs sign, and this one definitely does not disappoint. McRee brings the exact skill set needed to thrive in Lewis’ “Aztec Fast” offense. He is a great example of Lewis and staff’s ability to bring in top players from across the country.

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