UW Signee Heims, Husky Target Kanu Speak the Same Language on Field

German transplants play side by side in California, with one headed to the Huskies and the other recruited by them.
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Maurice Heims is a German-born edge rusher at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Southern California and a University of Washington signee who did something unusual in the first game of his senior spring season.

Spotting something in the offensive formation of opposing Mayfair High, he called for a shift and an adjustment, but only one of his teammates moved.

That's because he barked out the command in German and just Hero Kanu, his fellow countryman from Europe and a UW defensive-line target, understood it.

Down went the QB.  

"We do that all of the time," Kanu said with a laugh. "Even in practice."

In a more recent third game of the season, a 42-0 shellacking of J Serra, Heims and Kanu teamed up for 4 tackles for loss, including a sack and a half.  

Despite playing football for just a few years, they've learned to use their native tongue to great advantage on the field.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Heims and the 6-5, 300-pound Kanu both hail from Germany, albeit at opposite ends of the country, some 600 miles apart. 

Their paths to Santa Margarita High are similar. 

Kanu grew up in southern Germany in Munich while Heims was raised in the outskirts of the northern port city of Hamburg. Both grew played soccer until they physically outgrew the sport and took up American football.  

Both were developed as players under the tutelage of Brandon Collier at PPI Recruits, a European-based football academy.  

Could Kanu and Heims become college teammates, too?

"Maurice tells me all the time how much he loves Washington," Kanu said.  "He can't wait to get there."

Recently, several colleges reached out with scholarship offers to Kanu, including Washington.

"I speak with Coach Rip [Rowan] quite a bit," he said. "I've also spoken with Coach [Jimmy] Lake."

Since the first game of the season, Kanu's offer sheet has grown steadily to 13, including most recent offers from Clemson and Texas. 

"It's been crazy," he said. "But I'm enjoying it."

Kanu said that he has no preconceptions about the American universities pursuing him, but adds that he's looking for one with a strong business program.

Wherever he lands, it sounds like he'll have the foreign language requirement all taken care of.