Heuerman Tightens Irish Bond

Notre Dame's 2013 class is filled with high level commitments and it is sticking together because of its tight bond.

Nothing will keep a highly rated recruiting class together like winning, but there are some other important elements.

And the 2013 Notre Dame class seems to have one of the most important – and one that was lacking in 2012 – in there is a tight bond among the recruits.

One of the leaders of that contingent is the personable Mike Heuerman, the tight end commit from Barron Collier High (Naples, Fla.) and one of the most active players when it comes to speaking with other players.

And Heuerman doesn't do it because his intention is to give a prospect a hard sell, but rather because it is his personality.

"I'm not the kind of guy who will sit there and say, ‘Are you coming to Notre Dame with me? Are you coming? Are you coming?' " Heuerman said. "I don't bug them about it. It's more important to get to know the kid and know how you are as a kid so you don't feel pressured.

"Whenever you're on a visit and hear stuff like that, it doesn't matter what it is, you always feel pressured, even with the coaches. Even though they don't purposely try to pressure you, you know they want you to commit. They want you to go there. So, there's always pressure on you."

One of Heuerman's closest friends from the recruiting game is fellow Irish commit Alex Anzalone, a four-star linebacker from Wyomissing (Pa.) High who decommitted from Ohio State and two months later chose the Irish over Florida.

But Heuerman's relationship with Anzalone wasn't bred out of recruiting him to Notre Dame. It happened after the two met at Ohio State, where Heuerman's brother, Jeff, plays.

And Mike Heuerman didn't start talking about the Irish with Anzalone until after the decommitment from Ohio State took place.

"Anzalone and I stayed in touch every day after we left Ohio State, so we went and visited Notre Dame together and we became pretty close," Heuerman said. "We just really hit it off and we stayed in touch. It was basically a friendship we built. I know he wasn't going to make a decision off where I was going, just like with my brother. I wasn't going to go where my brother went just because he was there."

When Heuerman was on campus in August for a practice, so was Penn State commit Will Fuller. By the end of the day, Fuller was talking with Heuerman aplenty, and the next day Fuller flipped to Notre Dame.

"I kind of hate the word recruiter," Heuerman said. "If I hit a kid on Facebook and say, ‘Hey, bro, hit me up.' Obviously, the kid is going to know one of the coaches told me to say something. When I meet them on campus when I met Will and when I met Anzalone, and I stay in touch with them, it's a totally different story.

"Once you open up and talk to them and make them feel a little bit more comfortable, I feel like that is a big part of the process."

And one uncommitted player Heuerman talks frequently with is Immokalee (Fla.) High four-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who holds Notre Dame in high regard.

"I'm real close with Mackenzkie Alexander," Heuerman said. "I don't pressure him. I stay in contact with him. The farthest I'll go is, ‘When are we going to Notre Dame again?' or ‘How do you still feel about Notre Dame?' That's stuff I'll ask him as a friend, not as something from the coaches."

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