Unbeknownst to him or even his doctors, Mount Dora senior center Brett Heggie played an entire season with a broken wrist. The pain and discomfort was there, but Heggie had a strong year and made the Under Armour All-American squad in the process.
“I broke my wrist in the first game of the season,” Heggie said of the mishap. “They told me it was sprained and (the break) was missed twice. I played nine games in the regular season and then went on to play in the All-American game. I got a third opinion afterward and they looked at the first x-ray and said I had a broken (bone). It’s been broken for seven months. I had surgery four months ago, a week after the All-American game
“I got it all fixed and have been in a cast the last four months. That has been big for me because I couldn’t do any upper body lifts. I am just focusing on getting back to 100% so I can build off of it once I come back.”
As a center, Heggie snaps the ball with his right hand and broke his left wrist. The issue with the injury hasn’t been about the technical part of the game, it has been about maintaining his upper body strength since he hasn’t been able to lift weights.
With that in mind, he has worked on what he can.
“I’ve really hit my legs hard,” he said. “I will do 4-5 times a week on the legs. I overdo it with my legs, because if I can’t do my upper body I might as well maximize my fullest potential with my legs. I at least have that going in.
“Beforehand I was more upper body strong. I figured I might as well improve in that area… do something.”
“I’m at 315, I think I am up to 6-foot-4 or maybe another half inch and am doing well and got my cast off (last week), I started therapy and we’ll see what happens in the next couple of months.”
Heggie maintains contact with several in Gainesville and the anticipation of showing up on June 21 is thick.
“I talk to Coach Summers and Coach Collins,” he said of Florida’s offensive line coach and the assistant that recruited him from Mount Dora. “The players I talk to are Kyle Trask and T.J. McCoy. Antonneous Clayton and I always talk back and forth, and Jeawon Taylor. Every now and then I talk to Tyler Jordan and Cameron Dillard.
“I have gotten pretty close with my (future) roommates, Kyle and Antonneous. We’re pretty tight, so that’s good going into it. “
His expectations for his freshman year are a bit unsettled because of the injury and healing that is out of his control. That hasn’t stopped him from doing whatever he can to get to the point he needs to be.
“I was just focused on healing my wrist,” he said of the time since his surgery. “I’m working hard as far as legs and conditioning. Even the one arm, the strength coach gave me some modifications to do one arm lifts. I’m doing what they asked me to do and then some.”
“Because of my wrist… I don’t know how or what is going to happen because of that. If it heals and I bounce back quickly I will just go in there and prove myself every day. We’ll have to see what happens.
“The big thing for me is to go in and learn the play book. That is huge at center. We have to know everything that is going on and make the calls I need to make. I am looking forward to it. I have about three weeks.
“They just want to know how quickly I can start bending my wrist (to start working out). I think I will be done with therapy by the time I report. When I get there they will work on me.
“I think I will be back and going. It will all come back; it just depends on how long.”
Heggie is excited for the season ahead. He’s been hearing tidbits from guys already on campus about how good they expect the team to be this year.
“I went into surgery to get my pin out (last week),” he said. “I walked in at the hospital and one of the long snappers was there… Devin Grimm. He was telling me how exciting the upcoming season is going to be. He said the environment is just totally different.
“I feel like we have pieces of the puzzle that we really needed. I think we’re going to be very good.”