Brady Heiman is trying. He really is.
The tallest member of Nebraska basketball's 2018 recruiting class has heard it over and over for months now — he'll have to bulk up if he wants to make an impact during his time in Lincoln.
Heiman is well aware of that fact, which has been driven home during the first few weeks of Nebraska's summer workouts.
"I'm putting everything I have into guarding the other bigs, and I'm still getting pushed underneath," Heiman said recently. "That's with me putting two elbows into them and everything I've got."
There will certainly be challenges for Nebraska's first in-state high school signee since the early 2000s, not the least of which is packing on a few more pounds. He's not there yet, but the 6-foot-11, 205-pound product of Platteview High School has already made strides
"Every time I'm eating they're like, 'Why don't you get seconds?" Heiman said of Nebraska's coaches. "I'm like, 'This is seconds!"
Jokes aside, Heiman's work in the weight room and the training table is starting to pay off. He calmly knocked down a three-pointer and threaded a nice high-post pass during a recent workout. There are freshman growing pains, sure, but Heiman hasn't looked out of place.
"I don't think there's anything we've done that I haven't been able to keep up with yet," he said.
It's a long time between July and the start of the regular season, but Heiman has shown early on that he'll at least be a factor when it comes time for the Huskers to set their rotations. Coaches have told him to prepare as if he will play.
Heiman rooms with fellow freshman Amir Harris, so the two can commiserate with each other on the adjustment to college. He says there are no "team killers" on this version of the Huskers: "Everyone is a great guy," Heiman said.
He's also learning to deal with the grind of the college athlete. He's up at 6:30 every morning to lift weights at the Hendricks Training Complex, then it's off to summer class followed by a visit to his tutor.
Then it's lunch — with seconds — before an early afternoon activity with the rest of Nebraska's incoming freshman athletes, and then heading back to Hendricks for team workouts. That's on top of individual work the players put in on their own time.
"They keep us busy, which is a good thing, I think," Heiman said.
Come the fall, Heiman hopes he'll be busy and not a spectator during Nebraska's games. Early returns would seem to say he's well on his way.