Now all Bruce Heggie has to do is "seal the deal."
Heggie, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound TE/DE at Mount Dora High, was mired in a dilemma since December. He was looking for a place to play college football and kept striking out.
"Last week FAMU backed out of their offer and said there wasn't going to be an official visit this weekend," Heggie said. "There was William & Mary, but other than that there weren't really anymore options."
Then came the phone call. Notre Dame.
Yep, that's what Heggie thought, too. He probably had to pinch himself.
"It was definitely surprising," he said. "Notre Dame is an epic school. I certainly didn't see this coming. Especially after some of the other schools said they'd recruit me and then backed out of it."
Notre Dame running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Hinton, who followed coach Brian Kelly from Cincinnati had been looking at Heggie when he was recruiting for the Bearcats.
Mike Elston (defensive line coach, who also followed Kelly from Cincy) decided to come visit. In Mount Dora.
"Coach Hinton was working with me and he really liked me when he was at Cincinnati, but then they crunched their numbers and they didn't have anything." Heggie said. "But when they made the transition over to Notre Dame, coach Hinton made a point to bring my name up. He remembered me, remembered that they had liked my film and decided to give me a call."
And so Elston was hosted by the Heggies on Tuesday.
The visit went great. Heggie will fly to South Bend on Friday for his first ever official college visit. Notre Dame. Lou Holtz. Ara Parseghian. Knute. The Gipper. Joe Montana. Joe Theisman. Yes, that Notre Dame.
"They didn't make any promises but said I had a pretty good chance and they set up my visit," Heggie said. "Now I'll go up there and get to meet with Coach Kelly."
At the beginning of the season, Heggie had a nice run of camps during the summer, especially two camps at Florida State, where his father Bruce Sr. had played for Bobby Bowden and Chuck Amato back in the day.
"I loved FSU. They took a huge interest in me," the younger Heggie said of his two camps in Tallahassee. "My dad played at FSU from 1983-86 and so I already feel as if I'm part of the family.
"Ever since I was little I've wanted to be [at FSU] and the way I played at the Bowden camp and Showtime camp helped a lot. Coach Coley (tight end coach, Jim) said I was a hell of a player and that him and Jimbo (then offensive coordinator Fisher) would visit me this fall," he continued. "Jimbo told my mom how great I did and that I was the talk of the meetings lately."
That didn't quite work out. And it may have had something to do with Heggie missing the first three games of the season with an aggravating groin injury.
He came back though. He caught 16 passes, three for touchdowns, as a tight end, and had four sacks from defensive end. He also works hard off the field with a 4.2 GPA and an All-Academic All-State Award.
"Today I just prayed for an official visit. If I could get an official visit with Notre Dame I would be happy. Now I've just gotta finish it."
Chris Hays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun