Heck Commits

After revisiting North Carolina and Virginia, Jon Heck decided to become a Tar Heel.

"I committed to North Carolina [Thursday] morning," Heck said.

Heck, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound offensive tackle from Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles, spent parts of Monday and Tuesday at UNC before heading to Virginia on Wednesday.

"[The UNC visit] was great," Heck said. "I came in [and] I got a chance to spend the night with some players. I spent the night with James Hurst and Jon Cooper and it was great. I got a chance to walk around town [and] visit Franklin Street. I could just tell that Chapel Hill was the place for me."

Heading into the visits, Heck knew committing to a school was a possibility.

"I had it down to Virginia and UNC and I was visiting both," Heck said. "… I had a feeling I would visit each school one more time and then make a decision."

What sealed the deal for UNC with Heck was spending time with its players.

"The main thing for me was being around the players – being around my future teammates," Heck said. "I could just tell they're great people. I could also tell they're very talented players. But they're people I could fit in with. They are class act guys – respectful guys – and they're definitely people I want to live with for four years."

Heck's UNC stay also included hanging out with Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach.

"I spent about two hours spending time with Coach Pittman with my family," Heck said. "We were talking with him. After talking with him, I just realized UNC is a great place to live but it's also a great program and I really believe we can compete for a national championship. They're definitely a winning program with solid players and I really think they're doing it right over there."

Pittman also had a major influence on Heck's decision.

"He was great," Heck said. "I knew all along he was a coach I wanted to play for and my trip to UNC just confirmed that."

Pittman is recruiting Heck to play offensive tackle, his high school position.

"They definitely see me as a tackle, because I'm 6-7 and long," Heck said. "[Pittman] said I could possibly be playing both right and left. I could get playing time at both and see where I fit in."

Heck's most recent visit to UNC lacked meeting with Butch Davis, but that proved to be irrelevant.

"When I visited during the spring, I got a chance to sit down with Coach Davis," Heck said. "He's just a class act guy and he's definitely a coach that I want to play for. I have a lot of respect for Coach Davis."

After visiting UVa, Heck and his family spent Wednesday night at their home in Virginia preparing for the Fourth of July Weekend.

"I slept on it for a day at home," Heck said. "I had a feeling the whole time that it would be UNC but it was a very close decision. After sleeping on it for a night, I just knew UNC was the place for me."

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.

The assumption was with the connection to Notre Dame, Heck was holding out for an offer from Fighting Irish, who showed interest but never offered.

"I thought about that and Miami did come in the picture – Miami offered me the other day," Heck said. "I just kind of thought ‘You know, I've definitely got it down to UVa and UNC.' I got a chance to visit Notre Dame twice. It's tempting definitely to get a bunch more offers, but I just realized there's not really a point to that. I know I had it down to UVa and UNC. When I revisited, I knew where I wanted to go, so I didn't see a point in waiting any longer."

Despite committing seven months away from Signing Day, Heck says his pledge is firm.

"I'm not going to visit any more schools," Heck said. "I'm done with my recruitment."

During the spring, Heck made recruiting visits to Florida, UNC, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Virginia. It was then that the Tar Heels and Cavaliers emerged as favorites.

"[I first visited UNC, because] North Carolina is in a similar area to Charlottesville where we lived and I really love this area of the country," Heck said. "And I heard so many good things about UNC. I have a friend, actually, in Jacksonville, Shakeel Rashad, he's a linebacker who is committed to UNC. I heard a lot great things about UNC from him. And it's just a great academic school and I want to go to medical school and I knew North Carolina would be a great place to go for that."

On Thursday morning, Heck committed to Davis and Pittman.

"I gave Coach Pittman a call and let him know that UNC was the place for me," Heck said. "He was excited, because he was recruiting me for a long time and I had a close relationship with him."

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