Bruce Heggie did not hesitate when he was offered a scholarship to play football at Notre Dame today.
He accepted, of course.
Heggie, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end for Mount Dora High, will be fulfilling an ultimate dream and he is one of the biggest stories of the 2010 recruiting season. Heggie goes from no college football scholarship offers to a scholarship and opportunity to play under the arms of Touchdown Jesus,
"It was great .. I really like the tradition of the school and the character of the coaching staff," Heggie said. "It's very surprising but I can do it."
The offer came Sunday morning after Heggie and his family were hosted by the school for the weekend.
"Today we had breakfast with Coach (defensive line coach Mike) Elston and then we got back and Coach (head coach Brian) Kelly pulled me and my family into his office and he talked about what he thought of me as a player and a student and then he offered and that's when I committed."
He did have a short discussion with this family, but it was pretty much a done deal.
"I was pretty straight forward and confident with Notre Dame," Heggie said.
The Heggies were on their way to Chicago Midway Airport, calling people with the news along the way.
"We're very proud and very excited for Bruce," said mom Susan Heggie. "I feel he's very deserving. I knew he was going to play somewhere, but it's definitely a dream come true for Bruce to play at a school he always wanted to attend."
Since childhood it was first Florida State, of course, because that's where dad played. But then it was Notre Dame for whom the young Heggie rooted. Even Bruce Sr. understands.
"I'm doing fantastic ... I am so ecstatic right now," said Bruce Sr., who played for Bobby Bowden at Florida State in the early 80s.
"It's really a dream come true. In terms of this college setting, I think you'd be hardpressed to find another with the mix of academics and athletics like Notre Dame. It's a one of a kind and for a school to be his No. 1 pick I think it was just meant to be."
Heggie was struggling to find a college football home two weeks ago. He thought he had at least one offer from Florida A&M, but even the Rattlers pulled his scholarship offer.
He was supposed to visit Tallahassee and FAMU this weekend, but he gladly traded that for the South Bend trip.
"It's been great," Heggie said. "I mean Notre Dame, can't do much better than that."
It was supposed to be a phenomenal year at Mount Dora, but things didn't go quite as expected as the Hurricanes finished with a 6-4 record. Heggie even missed the first three games with a groin injury.
He did come back to catch 16 passes and three touchdowns as a tight end, and had four sacks on defense, but it wasn't quite the senior season he had hoped to have. He had been impressive at Florida State summer camps and his dad's status as a football alum surely would seem to help.
But even the Seminoles backed off.
Mount Dora's Bruce Heggie commits to Notre Dame during South Bend visit
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