Hegarty Excited About His Future

Make no mistake about the commitment of Matt Hegarty to Notre Dame. While some have joked with the future Irish offensive lineman about the team's start this season, he knows great things are ahead for him and the Notre Dame Football program. We checked in with Matt to get the latest.

With his high school season well underway, Matt Hegarty has been keeping an open eye on his future home as a member of the Notre Dame football program. How good have things gone for the senior from Aztec, New Mexico?

"It has been going pretty good so far. My team is 6-0 and we are just getting through the preseason and getting ready for district play now. Here in New Mexico we have to play some random teams from around the state, then we play four games that we have to do well in the district. If you are a district champion you earn an automatic bid in the playoffs."

While Matt has been watching the Irish on television, he has yet to make it up for a game day visit at Notre Dame.

"I have tried to watch all the games so far. I missed this past weekend's game because we had a game about 800 miles away. We had gone down on Thursday and stayed and were coming back when the game was on. Right now the plan is to make it up for the Utah game and take my official visit then."

While some would question having not been to campus for a game, Matt was quick to point out he had a great chance to learn more about Notre Dame and it's campus this summer.

"I came up and visited in the middle of June as my sister was going to basketball camp at Notre Dame. I stayed for several days and had a great chance to see everything."

It was during the recruiting process and his stay in South Bend that Matt really had a chance to bond with his recruiting coach and future position coach.

"Coach (Kerry) Cooks was one of my closest recruiters during the process. He did a great job of recruiting me. But over time, I have had a chance to get more in touch with Coach (Ed) Warinner and build that relationship."

Like several current members of the Irish program, Matt knows he is going a long distance from home to attend college. Has he ever had any second thoughts about his decision?

"I kind of knew early on that I would have to go away if I wanted to play in a great program. Therefore, I knew distance was not going to be a factor. I have done a lot of camps over the years so going away I do not feel will be a problem."

While he never planned to be an early enrollee, plans have changed and he is looking forward to getting to campus and starting his college career.

"Early on I had been talking with the coaches about it, but it is something they do not push for. They said they would be thrilled for me to come in and get that extra six months so we thought about it as a family and we weighted the pros and cons coming away with the decision to enroll early."

As for his family, Matt knows he has got their full support especially his grandfathers.

"My grandpa is a first generation Irish Catholic guy, so he was quick to approve of me going to Notre Dame. My uncle grew up watching Notre Dame like so many people and he was also quick to jump on."

During his high school career, Matt has played center, guard, and tackle. Recruited as a tackle, Matt knows he could be moved around.

"The coaches have left it open ended so far. I am about 6-foot-5 and have a lot of flexibility to move around, so we will have to see when I get there where I will end up. They recruited me as a tackle but we'll see how it goes once I get there."

As for the strength and weakness of his overall game, Matt knows playing in a true spread offense in high school has helped him a lot.

"We run a true spread shot gun offense, so I feel my strength is my pass blocking abilities. I am very athletic and love to get out into space and make some blocks. I do feel I need work on my opening shot on run blocking plays. I have a good base but feel I need to improve in my initial pop."

As with any young person, the recruiting process can at times have them second-guessing their decisions. While some people have joked with him about the Irish start this season, Matt knows the future is bright for Irish football.

"Sometimes there are times you wonder about things, but the day I committed I was relieved. I could now go out, buy some team apparel for one team, and proudly wear it. I went out and got me a hat that I can wear everyday and I feel comfortable with it. I have no second thoughts. I had people joke around with me, but I am not too worried as I feel Notre Dame is just a few plays away from being 5-1. I know there is such a high ceiling and so much upside to the program. The coaching staff is going to turn things around in the future and I am happy to be part of it."

We will continue to check back with Matt and also be looking to speak with his mother as we continue speaking with future Irish football player's mothers to get the most in-depth look into their sons.

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