Joe Heap
Heap on a 1955 Bowman football card
Personal information
Date of birth: (1931-10-26)October 26, 1931
Place of birth: Abita Springs, Louisiana
Date of death: April 6, 2011(2011-04-06) (aged 79)
Place of death: New Orleans, Louisiana
Career information
College: Notre Dame
NFL Draft: 1955 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* New York Giants (1955)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Rushing yards     29
Average     3.6
Rushing TDs     0

Joseph Lawrence Heap (October 26, 1931 – April 6, 2011) was an American football halfback who played for the National Football League's (NFL) New York Giants during the 1955 season.

Born in Abita Springs, Louisiana,[1] Heap played his high school football at Holy Cross High School, New Orleans, from 1947 to 1950. There, he earned four varsity letters as a football player and three in track and field.[2] He was a starter for three seasons and scored 55 touchdowns for Holy Cross High School,[3] graduating in 1951.[4] Although Heap considered attending Loyola University New Orleans and continuing to participate in track events, he decided to enroll at the University of Notre Dame.[5]

At Notre Dame, Heap started at the halfback position from 1952 to 1954, and was an Academic All-American three times; as of 2011, he is the only Notre Dame football player to be named to the Academic All-America team that many times. He also holds the record for receiving yards by a Notre Dame halfback, with 1,137 for his career.[1] Heap was Notre Dame's receptions leader in each season he was a starter, catching 71 passes in his college career.[1] Notre Dame head coach Frank Leahy said that Heap "could run, pass, kick, receive passes and run back kickoffs better than anyone I've ever coached."[2]

In the 1955 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Heap in the first round, with the eighth overall pick. Heap played one season in New York, appearing in 12 games and rushing for 29 yards in 8 attempts; he also returned kicks and punts.[6] Following 1955, Heap joined the United States Air Force for three years of service,[2] ultimately becoming a lieutenant colonel. Heap took a position with Shell Oil Company, and spent 30 years there.[4] He became a member of the Sugar Bowl/Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.[1] In 2011, when he was 79 years old, Heap died.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Irish Football Halfback Joe Heap Dies At Age 79". University of Notre Dame. April 11, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Joe Heap". Sugar Bowl. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  3. Cody, Scott; Massa, Dominic (April 7, 2011). "Holy Cross, Notre Dame football star Joe Heap dies at 79". WWL-TV. Archived from the original on August 31, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kelly, John (May 16, 2011). "1954: Holy Cross football star Joe Heap and his wife". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  5. Kish, Bernie (August 2009). "Notre Dame's Greatest Backfield". College Football Historical Society Newsletter 22 (4): 1–4. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  6. "Joe Heap". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2011.

External linksEdit

Template:1955 NFL Draft

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