Heuerman: Eifert, Rudolph Huge in Decision

Four-star tight end Mike Heuerman committed to Notre Dame, and two very big reasons are current Irish tight end Tyler Eifert and former Irish tight end Kyle Rudolph. He spoke to IrishEyes.com about his decision, how the two standouts influenced his decision and much more.

Barron Collier High (Naples, Fla.) tight end Mike Heuerman easily outdrove Tyler Eifert off the tee, but that's as deep as he wanted to publicly divulge his showing on the golf course last week.

It was fun, and the information and vibe Heuerman allowed him to leave campus knowing he would commit to Notre Dame.

"It opened my eyes that there are people that do like it there in addition to the ones that don't," said Heuerman, a four-star tight end tight. "Aaron Lynch, with his decision to leave …it shows he definitely has his head on straight. He's just like me. He's happy there, and I know I'll be happy there.

"I was pretty confused. I was pretty caught up in a bunch of things. That's why I really did get back up there. I wanted to know for myself, and for my future. I knew once I was coming back from that visit, I was either going to be crossing Notre Dame off my list or I was going to be going there."

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Heuerman spent a lot of time with Eifert, and he spoke with former Irish right end Kyle Rudolph, and the advice he received from both stuck with him.

"They told me, ‘Don't come here for anybody but yourself,' because I'm going to be the one there," Heuerman said. "They understand that. They were so respectful with me, and that shows me the kind of people there, and the kind of people they'll be producing and the kind of people I'll be turning to and hopefully, in my eyes, I can be looked at as a hero in some kids' eyes like I look up to them."

Another factor that came into play is Notre Dame's use of the tight end. Eifert caught 63 passes for 803 yards and five touchdowns last season, and he figures to be the central part of the passing game in 2012.

Heuerman was also considering Miami, LSU and Ohio State, but how the Irish use the tight end was an overriding factor.

"It really was (big)," he said. "When it came down to it, I had a few schools in mind, and they use the tight ends well. But I can honestly tell you that no school uses the tight ends like Notre Dame does, and Notre Dame will continue to do so."

Heuerman knew Notre Dame was the place for him when he started thinking about calling coaches to say he wasn't coming.

"There were a lot of pros to Notre Dame that I respected and came across," he said. "I honestly can tell you when I went there the second time, I knew I was going to be there. I knew it. I kind of told the coaches, and they knew it was coming and it was just a matter of time. It couldn't have gone any better for me, and I could not imagine myself at any other school.

"I'm just so blessed to be where I'm at, and I couldn't imagine committing anywhere else and having to call them and know that my heart is truly at Notre Dame. That's why I know that's the place for me."

Heuerman made his decision public on a day Irish assistant coach Tony Alford and Scott Booker were at Barron Collier High.

"It was crazy," Heuerman said. "When I called coach (Brian) Kelly, his tone of voice was amazing, and the words he said with me, and how grateful I was to hear the words come out of his mouth.

"I won't repeat them word-for-word, but it made me realize even more that is the place I want to be and the coach I want to be playing for because of his comments to me. It was great."


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