Mike Heuerman is definitely proud to see Notre Dame atop the national polls. He certainly hopes his future teammates are able to win two more games to capture a national championship.
But none of this comes as a surprise to the 2013 Irish tight end commit and if the season had turned out differently, it wouldn’t have changed the way he views Notre Dame.
“I didn’t commit to the University of Notre Dame expecting them to be the top team in the country,” said the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from Naples, Fla. “I expected to go in and be an asset and help them become the best team in the country.
“It’s a blessing. Who doesn’t want to be committed to the number one team in the country? But whether they were ranked number one right now or 215th right now, I would still stand by my commitment. Their ranking doesn’t really mean that much to me, it’s just a great thing to have along with the university and coaches.”
Heuerman saw a major difference between the first time he watched the Irish practice this spring and the next time he saw them in August.
“I realized that they were going to be a powerhouse,” Heuerman said. “I’d seen Ohio State practice, I’d seen LSU practice, and I’d seen Miami practice.”
Heuerman (pictured with Alex Anzalone and Malik Zaire) has been impressed with each of Notre Dame’s victories from the blowouts to the overtime squeakers.
“They definitely deserve this,” he said. “They’re all Ws. At the end of the day, there’s no better team in the country on and off the field than Notre Dame. That’s not only on the field, but that’s off the field with the players and coaches as well.”
Heuerman will get a chance to experience Notre Dame again next month, when he returns to South Bend for the team’s banquet.
His high school career came to an end last weekend when his Barron Collier squad lost to South Fort Myers in the state playoffs.
“It was kind of hard knowing that that was the last time I would play with them,” he said of his high school teams. “Nobody wants to end the season with a loss, but there were relationships on that team that will be there for the rest of our lives. It’s something that you have to live with and the support they have for me and the support I have for them is a greater value. That makes it much easier.”
And Heuerman also knows that he’ll be moving on to the next level and is ready to get a head start by enrolling at Notre Dame in January.
“I cannot wait,” he said. “You don’t even understand. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I knew I was going to play college football and ever since I knew I was going to that university. Once I committed, I felt like, “Alright, I made my decision, can I go there now?’
“I just wish I could walk in tomorrow. I still have that feeling and having the relationships I have with some of the other guys in the class will make it much easier. It’ll be a lot smoother of a transition coming from South Florida up there in January. It’s going to be great to have those guys by my side and me by their side.”
One of those guys is Heuerman’s good friend and fellow Notre Dame early enrollee Alex Anzalone, who solidified his committed to the Irish earlier this month.
“It’s sweet,” Heuerman said. “Him coming back it’s just another blessing. Just like when Jaylon (Smith) committed. Our class is a great class. Notre Dame is one of the top football programs and organizations in the country. I believe it is the top organization. You’re going to get the top recruits; you’re going to get the best recruits.
“From my standpoint, that’s what they deserve and that’s what they’re going to get. To have Alex completely committed, knowing the type of player he is and the type of kid he is, it’s exciting in all aspects.”