Oklahoma State offensive line coach Joe Wickline came out of spring football believing he needed more help on the line. He knew where to get it as Hegwood was an academic qualifier that started and played well for Pearl River in the tough Mississippi juco league. Wickline started the late recruiting effort to add to the 2013 recruiting class.
"The day that Coach Wickline called me and said they actually had a guy go on injured reserve and they had a spot for me," Hegwood explained of the when he thought he had a chance to be heading to a Division I school.
"I had no idea how it was going to go down. I was just excited to get a big school (like OSU) calling me. Coming from Pearl River and a town of like 2,000 people (in Flowood, Miss.), and going to the big town of Stillwater, and Oklahoma State has to be one of the top five in facilities in the nation. It was really a nice experience coming from where I came from. My dad said if I didn't go, he'd go to Oklahoma State in my place."
The question is, why was the 6-6, 317-pound Hegwood as a qualifier even in junior college? Hegwood explained it was a series of bad circumstances from the injury side of things, some really unusual ailments that kept him off recruiter's radar screens while at Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Miss., a town south of the the state capitol of Jackson.
"Those random injuries that I got ... my junior year I had a hemmorhage in my leg and then my senior season I had the emergency appendectomy, and after that I just kind of fell behind and didn't get to go out like a normal senior in high school would with recruiting," Hegwood explained.
He was lucky with the appendectomy because while he missed five games of his senior season, the doctor told him if he had waited any longer it would have ruptured and he could have had some major medical issues.
Those injuries pointed Hegwood to nearby Pearl River Community College and they were more than ready to put the big lineman to immediate use.
"I started our first game against the number one team in the country in East Mississippi, started at right guard," Hegwood said. "I played right off the bat.
"In my high school we ran a power-I with two tight ends, so I did nothing but run block. It was a big change when I got to Pearl and played in Coach Hatten's spread offense and everybody was in a two-point stance and doing nothing but pass blocking."
So he's got experience in both disciplines and is quick to pick things up. He should be a good student this summer with the veteran players and in August with Wickline.
Hegwood has three years of eligibility when he arrives and after orientation he starts classes and workouts and can't wait. For academics he plans on majoring in civil engineering.