Skip to content

Hegarty cleared for action after serious health scare

Feb 27, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT

Matt Hegarty

After missing much of last year with a mysterious illness that shut him down for the season, the future of Matt Hegarty‘s time at Notre Dame looked to be in question. The one-time blue chip recruit, who had turned down offers from USC, Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon to sign with the Irish, looked to be a future cog on the offensive line.

That future looked incredibly bleak back in November, when, Hegarty suffered stroke like symptoms and surgery revealed two holes in his heart that existed since birth. The experience was especially harrowing, according to Hegarty’s father, who spoke to the Chicago Tribune back in January.

During the team’s walk-through on Nov. 8, Hegarty “suddenly was unable to speak or write,” his father said.

“Matt said that the doctors theorized that ‘his Thursday weightlifting routine may have caused enough turbulence in his heart this time, to cause a clot to pass through the holes in his heart, unfiltered,'” Bryan Hegarty said. “‘The clot then traveled to his brain later that day at practice, causing the stroke.'”

It appears that after a scary 2012, Hegarty’s future with the team is back on track, according to a report from Blue and Gold’s Dan Murphy.

Per Murphy, Hegarty will rejoin the team and is cleared for “full football activities” starting March 15, with doctors monitoring his heart’s progress throughout.

That’s excellent news for an Irish offensive line that’s had its fair share of bad luck since Brian Kelly took over the team. With Tate Nichols likely hearing not-so-great medical news that could put him on a medical hardship scholarship, Jordan Prestwood transferred to UCF, and Brad Carrico already suffering a career-ending injury, the offensive line recruiting class of 2011 looked like it could have been down to just Conor Hanratty, making this year’s recruiting class up front so important.

If Hegarty is healthy, he looks to be one of the truly intriguing players to watch this spring. While many expected him to come in and compete at tackle, his move to the inside gives the Irish some size and an impressive athlete at the center position, where the Irish have started Braxston Cave for three straight seasons.

Latest Posts
  1. Irish A-to-Z: Doug Randolph

    Aug 3, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Doug Randolph

    Two seasons in and we have yet to see much from linebacker Doug Randolph. But after a shoulder injury slowed him at the beginning of his career and various injuries kept him from contributing more in 2014, perhaps a position change is what gets the rising junior back on track.

  2. Counting down the Irish: 25-21

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Quenton Nelson Twitter

    As we begin our rankings, we find a cross-section of players that represent just about every type of Brian Kelly recruit. There are blue-chippers. There are “RKGs.” And there are position switches and developmental projects.

  3. Irish A-to-Z: James Onwualu

    Aug 3, 2015, 1:06 AM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As a true freshman, James Onwualu found his way into the starting lineup, an unheralded freshman finding playing time by doing the little things right. As a sophomore, Onwualu made the rather unheard of transition from wideout to linebacker, and once again found himself starting football games.

  4. Counting down the Irish: Just missed the cut

    Aug 2, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    USC v Notre Dame Getty Images

    As we begin to reveal the top 25 players on Notre Dame’s roster, our raw numbers point to an intriguing amount of depth on this football team. As you consider the returning talent on this football team—only Ben Koyack, Everett Golson, Matt Hegarty and Cody Riggs depart from the Music City Bowl’s starting lineup—the depth chart and high end personnel is there, and that proof seems to be in our numbers.

  5. Irish A-to-Z: C.J. Prosise

    Aug 2, 2015, 1:58 PM EDT

    C. J. Prosise C. J. Prosise

    Spring hero? Tough to find a bigger one than C.J. Prosise. With numbers low in the backfield this spring, Notre Dame’s emerging slot receiver transitioned to running back—and immediately became an X factor in 2015.

  6. Irish A-to-Z: Romeo Okwara

    Aug 1, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Michigan v Notre Dame Getty Images

    For most of Romeo Okwara’s college career, the defender’s young age was mentioned when discussing the intriguing athlete’s upside. With ideal length, more than adequate athleticism and a skill set that fit in both Bob Diaco and Brian VanGorder’s defense, it was always a wait-and-see proposition for the North Carolina native, who simply needed a few years in Paul Longo’s weight room to catch up to his age.

  7. Coming Soon: Counting Down the Irish, 2015 edition

    Jul 31, 2015, 4:39 PM EDT

    Jaylon Smith, Joe Schmidt Jaylon Smith, Joe Schmidt

    With the start of training camp right around the corner, it’s time for our annual tradition of ranking the Top 25 players on the Notre Dame roster.

  8. Irish A-to-Z: Tyler Newsome

    Jul 31, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    247Sports 247Sports

    With Kyle Brindza gone, sophomore Tyler Newsome takes over the punting duties. And outside of seeing a few not-really live kicks in the Blue-Gold game, what that means remains to be seen.

  9. Offseason Q&A: Stanford

    Jul 31, 2015, 11:48 AM EDT

    David Shaw

    We wrap up our offseason look at Notre Dame’s 2015 opponents with the Stanford Cardinal. The postseason could come down to a late-season showdown in Palo Alto with David Shaw’s team trying to rebound from a five-loss season.

  10. Irish A-to-Z: Quenton Nelson

    Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Quenton Nelson

    After a redshirt season, Quenton Nelson is ready to play. Jumping to the head of the line at a crowded (and talented) position, Nelson is taking his five-star pedigree and bringing it to the starting lineup.

  11. Irish A-to-Z: Sam Mustipher

    Jul 30, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Property of Matt Cashore / Irish Illustrated Property of Matt Cashore / Irish Illustrated

    This spring, you’d have probably won some money if you had Sam Mustipher emerging as the No. 2 center. But with Matt Hegarty’s departure and some failed experiments before him, it was Mustipher who was backing up Nick Martin and snapping the ball to Everett Golson in a spring game played on Notre Dame’s practice field.

  12. Notre Dame ranked 11th in preseason Coaches Poll

    Jul 30, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

    Malik Zaire Malik Zaire

    Notre Dame opens the season ranked No. 11 in the preseason USA Today Amway Coaches Poll. The Irish, who finished last season 8-5, return the majority of their starting lineup, providing some context for the bullish expectations. Only Gus Malzahn’s Auburn team is ranked higher among teams that finished with five losses in 2014.

  13. Irish A-to-Z: Nyles Morgan

    Jul 30, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Notre Dame v Arizona State Getty Images

    Last year, we saw what a talented freshman linebacker in over his head looked like. His name was Nyles Morgan, and the blue-chip recruit personified the second-half defensive collapse that flushed the Irish season down the drain. Want the good part? Stick around, as Irish A-to-Z continues.

  14. Irish A-to-Z: John Montelus

    Jul 30, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Twitter Twitter

    When Brian Kelly plucked offensive lineman John Montelus from his hometown of Everett, Massachusetts, the Irish looked to be adding another mauler to the interior of Harry Hiestand’s offensive line. And after two seasons of reshaping his body and learning the ropes, Montelus is in a competitive two-deep, still looking for a role in this offense.

  15. Irish A-to-Z: Peter Mokwuah

    Jul 29, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Photo property of Rich Clark Photo property of Rich Clark

    It didn’t take long for Notre Dame’s coaching staff to know they wanted to offer Peter Mokwuah. After getting a glimpse of the big-bodied defensive tackle, Brian VanGorder and Brian Kelly went to Staten Island and left with a key piece to the depth chart.

  16. Notre Dame releases training camp schedule

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

    We are a little more than a week away from the start of the 2015 football season. Notre Dame released their training camp schedule on Wednesday, highlighting the key dates leading up to the season opener against Texas.

  17. Irish A-to-Z: Colin McGovern

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Twitter Twitter

    Entering his third year in the program, offensive lineman Colin McGovern hasn’t found his way into the lineup. That’s the product of a depth chart filled with other talented options, as well as McGovern dealing with injuries and position switches as he looks to find his niche.

  18. Irish A-to-Z: Mike McGlinchey

    Jul 29, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Stanford v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Last preseason, Mike McGlinchey was the odd-man out along the offensive line, losing out on the opportunity to be the team’s starting right tackle. Entering 2015, he’s one of the key X factors that’ll determine whether or not Harry Hiestand’s offensive line is one of the best in the country.

  19. Irish A-to-Z: Jacob Matuska

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    Jacob Matuska, Reggie Bonnafon Jacob Matuska, Reggie Bonnafon

    With Notre Dame’s defense falling apart, second-year player Jacob Matuska was thrown into the fire, earning playing time after the first (and most of the second) line of defense went down. Let’s check on the rising junior as Irish A-to-Z rolls on.

  20. Irish A-to-Z: Greer Martini

    Jul 28, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brandon Radcliff, Greer Martini Brandon Radcliff, Greer Martini

    The first recruit to join the 2014 recruiting class, Greer Martini may have been envisioned as a 3-4 linebacker in Bob Diaco’s scheme, but he very quickly showed he could play anywhere the rebooted Irish defense needed him. Irish A-to-Z keeps on keepin’ on.