UNC Offers Fla. OT

North Carolina has become the second school to verbally offer Jon Heck a scholarship.

"I love Chapel Hill – it's beautiful up there, the school has great academics, I really like Coach [Butch] Davis and Coach [Sam] Pittman, and I can tell they're running a great program up there," Heck said.

Virginia was the first school to offer Heck, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive tackle from Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles School.

UNC's interest in Heck began with a visit to Chapel Hill earlier in the spring.

"I've always had some interest in Chapel Hill, because we lived in Virginia and I loved [the Chapel Hill] area [and] I have always heard about their academics," Heck said. "So I've always been interested in them. So when we were thinking about some schools to get out to, [UNC] was one of them."

Two months ago, Heck and his father made a trip up to Virginia and visited UNC along the way.

"[During the UNC visit], I got a chance to have a full tour, watch their spring practice, talk to Coach ‘Pitt' and Coach Davis, and get to know the coaches and some of the players," Heck said. "Coach Pittman told me that he'd come down to watch the spring practice."

Last week, Pittman delivered on his promise and attended one of the Bolles School's spring practice sessions.

"He watched me practice and then at the end he went and told my head coach that I had an offer," Heck said.

Pittman seeing Heck work out in person was imperative to offering, since Heck missed his entire junior season with a fractured foot.

"When I first met him – I'm a big guy – he was impressed by my size and my grades," Heck said. "He just said ‘[Before we can offer], we want to come down and see you play in person, but we're interested.'"

Besides UNC and Virginia, Heck has made visits to Florida, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. He plans to return to both UNC and Virginia this summer.

"I'm not actually sure about any other [upcoming] visits," Heck said. "I'm sure I'll get in one or two other ones in, also."

Heck says UNC and Virginia are "definitely at the top" of his favorites list.

"That's not just because they're the only schools that have offered so far," Heck said. "They've always been two schools that I've really been interested in my whole life. And also if Notre Dame ends up offering, they'll be up there. And I really enjoyed my Northwestern visit, also."

It's not a coincidence that all of the schools Heck is interested in have great academic reputations.

"[Academic reputation] isn't the only factor, but it's definitely a big factor," Heck said. "I do want to go to medical school to become a doctor and that's one of the major factors."

Heck's father, Andy, was a first-team All-American offensive tackle for Notre Dame, including being a part of its 1988 national championship team, and served as an assistant coach at Virginia for three seasons before taking a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004, where he remains today as the offensive line coach. Heck says his father's college connections won't have a "huge" role in his collegiate decision.

"Being that my dad and a lot of my family went to Notre Dame, there's definitely a lot of interest in Notre Dame," Heck said. "Being as we've lived in Virginia, that's definitely one of the reasons I initially became interested in Virginia – and also partially in UNC. But [those connections] aren't going to play a huge factor in my final decision."

Heck adds that a Notre Dame offer wouldn't immediately result in a verbal commitment to the Fighting Irish.

"I would definitely consider [Notre Dame]," Heck said. "I've been up there. It's a great place. There's a lot of tradition up there."

Heck is unsure when he'd make a verbal commitment.

"I think I want to wait it out a little longer to see where I stand with getting some more offers," Heck said. "Further down the road, I'll have a better idea of when I'd like to make a verbal commitment."

In addition to missing his entire junior season due to injury, Heck played his freshman and sophomore seasons behind Brent Benedict, a four-star prospect who currently plays for Georgia. The lack of film has made his recruitment difficult.

"Brent definitely helped with my development," Heck said. "But, [recruiting] has been tough. But really through this whole thing [coaches] know I'm a big guy playing for a winning program. So it's really been a matter of ‘We know you're a big guy, we're interested, [but] we want to come down and see you play.'"

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