Mike Heuerman didn’t think the Notre Dame Awards Show would be a highlight of his final visit to Notre Dame before enrolling, especially when he heard it would be three hours long with a bunch of people talking.
“I was like, ‘Alright, hopefully there’s a pillow there for me or something,’” Heuerman laughed.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that exciting. That was awesome.”
The tight end from Naples, Fla., was one of several visitors impressed with the awards banquet - now called The Echoes - this past weekend.
“It was a great time to see the whole team together and the coaches and players getting up there and saying something,” said Heuerman. “They’ve done great things this year and they all deserve a reward. For the seniors that are graduating, that was kind of their last hurrah for them and their family before they go to the national championship.”
Heuerman didn’t spend too much time envisioning himself on stage, but that’s definitely a goal of his.
“It would be a great honor to be blessed with that opportunity,” he said. “I want to be up there and I want to have my goals to be able to go up there and get an award for something I’ve done and to do it for my team and my family. It was definitely inspiring.”
Notre Dame hosted 12 visitors and by the time Florida running back Greg Bryant committed on Saturday night, all 12 had pledged to the Irish.
“I’ve been up there five times now and there were two or three other commits there, but we haven’t all been together and been able to bond until this weekend,” Heuerman said. “It was nice to have us all up there and to get introduced to people we’ll be spending the next four years of our lives together was pretty sweet. I got to meet (Colin) McGovern for the first time and (Mike) McGlinchey.”
Landing Bryant was huge.
“I think it’s self-explanatory,” he said. “I think anybody that looks at his numbers and the running back that we just picked up knows how big that was.”
Heuerman is convinced being surrounded by so many other Irish commits helped Bryant make his decision.
“I’m pretty sure it played a big role,” the Florida tight end said. “Truthfully, I don’t see how someone could come in there uncommitted and have all 11 of us there and still be uncommitted.”
The #IrishMob13 made sure to make Bryant feel comfortable.
“We would put him before us,” Heuerman said. “We made sure he was taken care of before we were taken care of. It was kind of like we were already players and we were hosting him. We were making sure he was having the time of his life, which he did.”
Heuerman and wide receiver commit Torii Hunter weren’t on official visits, so they couldn’t do everything that all of the visitors did.
“We couldn’t go to dinner with them because it was off campus,” Heuerman said. “There was a point when we were separated.”
So Heuerman was catching up on some sleep and didn’t get a chance to check out the dorm he’ll be sharing with fellow early enrollees James Onwualu, Malik Zaire and Alex Anzalone starting next month.
“James said it was looking real good,” said Heuerman, who is hoping to land a quad with Onwualu, Zaire and Anzalone.
Heuerman is scheduled to fly up to South Bend to move in the second weekend of January.
“It really set in when I was up there this weekend,” he said. “I was standing up there like, ‘Man, I’m going to be the same person in four weeks, but I’m going to be up here for good.’
“It’s kind of startling. At the same time, it’s so exciting. It’s a great opportunity and a very blessed opportunity. I can’t wait to enroll.”