Apr 26, 2012, 9:55 PM EDT
In a head-to-head battle with Urban Meyer, Brian Kelly won a key recruiting victory for Naples, Florida’s Mike Heuerman, both team’s top tight end target. The blue-chip tight end, with offers from some of the best schools in the nation, chose the Irish over the Buckeyes, choosing to play in South Bend, though his brother plays for Meyer in Columbus.
Heuerman, at 6-foot-4, 225-pounds and still growing, had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, and countless others. His other finalists were Miami and LSU. After skipping over a tight end last year, landing their top target in Heuerman was key to an Irish recruiting class that can close the book on the position.
Christian McCollum of IrishSportsDaily.com was able to track down Heuerman about his choice to pick the Irish over the Buckeyes. This small snippet seems to be the quote of record:
“I fell in love with Notre Dame. That’s the place for me and my future and I can’t wait to do the things I’ll be doing there,” Heuerman told IrishSportsDaily.com. “The campus, the people, the atmosphere, the legacy, the players, Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert and Troy Niklas. Just some of the people I have to look up to. Kyle Rudolph was one of the first people I called and Tyler Eifert was one of the second few. I just love everything about it. The coaches, the football and academically, I feel it brings the best for my life and everything else.”
The response comes straight from the textbook Irish fans appreciate, and probably more now than ever considering Heuerman’s only relationship on the team beforehand was with since departed defensive end Aaron Lynch. It’s been a hectic few weeks for the tight end, who had been to Notre Dame and Ohio State in hopes of making a final decision. There were rumors out of Columbus that Heuerman committed to Meyer while he was visiting his brother for the spring game, but he denied them.
Still, where there’s recruiting smoke, there’s sometimes fire, and Irish fans had to be holding their breath as Notre Dame battled their arch-nemesis for a player the Irish needed to have. With coaches Scott Booker and Tony Alford on the case, the Irish came through, securing Heuerman’s commitment by showing just how versatile the offense can be and how big of a weapon tight end has been over the past few years.
Heuerman is closing the book on recruiting, unwilling to take calls or visits from other schools. He’s the 12th commitment to the 2013 recruiting class.