The University of Florida football program got off to a new start Saturday night in The Swamp. With a loud crowd waiting to see some exiting football, the end zone was also full of prime high school targets that the gators would like to be a part f the program.
Center Brett Heggie is one of the top five offensive linemen in the state for the 2016 class and he was there. Fresh off his team’s second win of the season leaving them undefeated, Heggie was able to enjoy himself. He got to watch an offensive line play similar to how he likes to play the game… aggressive and nasty. He gets that from playing on both sides of the ball and says things are going well for him this year.
“I’m playing well,” Heggie told Fightin’ Gators. “I go both ways. It’s pretty tough because I am 305 pounds going both ways. But I think I will get better through the season.”
He’ll play center when he gets to college but does admit to liking the defensive side of the ball. He also had a great time Saturday night in The Swamp.
“The atmosphere is crazy,” he said. “90,000 fans there for the first game and I think the offense came out and surprised people and put up a bunch of points. I don’t know who they will decide for the starting job at quarterback, they both did a great job yesterday. The defense played good as well.”
“I think they surprised a lot because in the past couple of years that was the struggle for Florida, the offense had trouble getting going. I don’t think it will be a problem this year. I think they are over that now.”
Count Heggie as one that expected to see on the field what he saw.
“No, I wasn’t surprised,” he said. “After seeing some practices this spring and I went and saw some in the summer. I wasn’t surprised. The offensive line came together as one and played well last night. I know a lot of young guys played well last night too.
“They gave the quarterbacks time to make some plays. They ran the ball well too. The other thing was that they did some substitutions up front, two centers played last night. That was interesting to watch and knowing I will be in there next year and whether or not I will redshirt next year… who knows?”
Florida has so much youth along the offensive line that one would expect mistake after mistake from the group, especially on the first night. In fact, there were no offensive penalties on the evening and the young guys seemed to execute pretty well. Heggie says that is likely because of the way offensive line coach Mike Summers approaches the teaching of the line.
“It is pretty easy the way Coach Summers sets it all up,” he said. “There are just three or four rules that everyone has to know and then they just have to remember the play, but that happens over time. It will come naturally over an off-season.
“Coach Summers makes it as easy as possible for the offensive line.”
He was pretty impressed with the atmosphere. The son of a former Florida State football player, it has been seven years since Heggie made it to a Gator game.“I haven’t seen a game there since 2008 when Tebow played,” he said. “I saw the Gator Walk for the first time and saw the indoor arena for the first time too. That was crazy. It is definitely the nicest one I have seen. I’ve been to Auburn, UCF, and a few others and it’s definitely the nicest.
“It’s huge and they are different. They have a room in the facility where family can hang out I think they are going to have TV’s in there. The way the indoor is set up, they have garage doors that open right up to the practice field and that’s really nice.”
His father, former FSU star Bruce Heggie, also had a good time Saturday night.
“He loved the atmosphere,” Brett said of his father. “I think The Swamp just separates itself from everywhere else. It’s just a different feeling while you’re there. They played well too, so that helped. I think everybody played well last night. They came out firing on all cylinders, it was a great game.”
Heggie didn’t get enough and closed by saying he will likely be back in The Swamp next weekend.