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. Williams loses NCAA appeal, college career over

    Aug 27, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    USC v Notre Dame Getty Images

    Ishaq Williams’ college football career is over. Notre Dame’s exiled defensive end, who sat out last season as part of a two-semester suspension for his role in the “frozen five” academic dishonesty investigation, has lost his NCAA appeal for reinstatement. Brian Kelly shared the news on Thursday after practice

  2. Brian Kelly names five team captains for 2015 team

    Aug 27, 2015, 8:25 PM EDT

    2015 Team Captains

    The votes are in and Notre Dame’s football team will be captained by five players. Graduate students Matthias Farley, Nick Martin and Joe Schmidt will be joined by senior Sheldon Day and junior Jaylon Smith as the captains of the 2015 Irish.

  3. Bryant begins Juco career, opens up recruitment

    Aug 27, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    Notre Dame v Syracuse Getty Images

    It appears that the Greg Bryant era at Notre Dame is over. The junior running back, who was declared academically ineligible to play for the Irish this fall, has enrolled at ASA Miami, a junior college with a new football program run by former Irish assistant Ernest Jones.

  4. Last looks: Running back

    Aug 27, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Getty Images

    After two seasons of trying to find carries for a handful of emerging running backs, Notre Dame has the opposite problem: Trying to spread out a growing workload among a smaller, highly-differentiated position group.

  5. Last looks: Defensive line

    Aug 26, 2015, 1:56 PM EDT

    North Carolina v Notre Dame Getty Images

    With the season right around the corner and preseason camp finished, it’s time to get our final preparations done before the games start counting and the journey begins. We spent the summer pumping out tens of thousands of words on Notre Dame’s evolving roster, so if you’re looking for 50 hours of easy reading, check out the Irish A-to-Z series.

  6. Now Open: Final preseason mailbag

    Aug 26, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT

    New Mailbox

    Have a final question before we have actual football to talk about? Today’s the day. Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.

  7. It’s here: Video board going into south end zone at Notre Dame

    Aug 25, 2015, 5:06 PM EDT

    Updated Notre Dame Stadium

    Notre Dame announced a number of enhancements to Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. Most notable among them, a video board that’ll go atop the south end zone.

  8. Irish A-to-Z: Malik Zaire

    Aug 25, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Getty Images

    Our final installment of the A-to-Z series is perhaps our most important one. Because Notre Dame’s fate is in the hands of quarterback Malik Zaire.

  9. Butler makes surprise ascent to third cornerback role

    Aug 24, 2015, 2:18 PM EDT

    Purdue v Notre Dame Purdue v Notre Dame

    With the injury to freshman cornerback Shaun Crawford, an unlikely candidate has emerged as the frontrunner for the No. 3 cornerback job: Devin Butler. The junior, who struggled mightily at times last season after he was forced into action, looked to have lost his grip on that spot this spring after strong work by sophomore Nick Watkins.

  10. Irish A-to-Z: Justin Yoon

    Aug 24, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    Yoon

    No freshman will be tossed into the deep end quicker than kicker Justin Yoon. Essentially Notre Dame’s sole option to kick field goals in 2015, Brian Kelly and the Irish coaching staff are putting a ton of the shoulders of a true freshman, who’ll be asked to fix a three-point operation that went haywire down the stretch after the Irish’s all-time field goal leader Kyle Brindza lost his mojo.

  11. Irish A-to-Z: Brandon Wimbush

    Aug 23, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    St.Peter's Prep signing day ceremony St.Peter's Prep signing day ceremony

    When Brandon Wimbush enrolled in school this summer, he became the latest blue-chip quarterback to join the Notre Dame football program with the burden of great expectations. The New Jersey state player of the year, Wimbush would be wise to forget about the prep accolades, instead focusing his efforts on learning the playbook, with the third-string quarterback closer to the field than you’d ideally want.

  12. Even without Jones, expectations clear for Gilmore’s DL

    Aug 21, 2015, 12:12 PM EDT

    Blue & Gold Illustrated Blue & Gold Illustrated

    Keith Gilmore’s move to Notre Dame reunites him with Brian VanGorder, two football lifers who have known each other since they shared a huddle as players. After a long coaching career, Gilmore also reunites with Brian Kelly, a coach he’s worked for at Grand Valley, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and now Notre Dame.

  13. Irish A-to-Z: Mykelti Williams

    Aug 21, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Property of Indianapolis Star Property of Indianapolis Star

    Notre Dame landed another Indianapolis product when safety Mykelti Williams joined the Irish this summer, the freshman lending some much needed depth to the secondary. Hailing from Warren Central, the same program that brought Notre Dame Sheldon Day, Williams’ might not contribute as quickly as Day did, but he’ll have a chance to compete for a spot in the two deep behind Max Redfield at free safety.

  14. Irish A-to-Z: Dexter Williams

    Aug 20, 2015, 12:54 PM EDT

    Orlando Sentinel Orlando Sentinel

    With Notre Dame’s running back depth chart down Greg Bryant, freshman Dexter Williams has a clear line to the football field this fall. While wide receiver Justin Brent has converted to the backfield and Tarean Folston returns as a starter, Williams and fellow freshman Josh Adams couldn’t ask for a more advantageous situation, especially with C.J. Prosise taking time to heal an ailing hip flexor.

  15. Suspension behind him, Russell ready to dominate

    Aug 20, 2015, 12:17 PM EDT

    KeiVarae Russell KeiVarae Russell

    Don’t talk to KeiVarae Russell anymore about his suspension. He’s not all that interested. He discussed it with Sports Illustrated, he discussed it at the opening of training camp and he continued to answer questions about it on Media Day.

  16. Freshman CB Shaun Crawford lost for season with ACL tear

    Aug 19, 2015, 10:13 PM EDT

    Shaun Crawford, Tyree Kinnel, Andre Douglas Shaun Crawford, Tyree Kinnel, Andre Douglas

    Talented freshman cornerback Shaun Crawford tore his ACL at practice on Wednesday and is lost for the season. Brian Kelly made the announcement Wednesday night via the sports information department.

  17. Irish A-to-Z: Ashton White

    Aug 19, 2015, 1:49 PM EDT

    Rivals.com Rivals.com

    As part of a talented group of freshman defensive backs, Ashton White has made his presence felt on campus quickly, joining Shaun Crawford and Nick Coleman in their attack on the depth chart. Another cornerback with good length and athleticism, White’s career begins as the freshman class looks to make an unlikely imprint on the 2105 season.

  18. Five things we learned: Notre Dame’s Media Day

    Aug 19, 2015, 4:03 AM EDT

    It was the standard Media Day dog-and-pony show in South Bend on Tuesday, with national reporters descending on Notre Dame to pay proper respects to the Irish football program, all while likely wondering if this is indeed “the year.” And perhaps it’s because Brian Kelly already delivered a lengthy state of the union address to open camp—or more likely—because he’s already sick of talking about the enhanced expectations for his sixth team, Tuesday afternoon felt like a redundancy that coaches and players alike wanted to put in the rearview mirror.

  19. Irish A-to-Z: Nic Weishar

    Aug 18, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Nic Weishar

    One of fall camp’s biggest surprises, tight end Nic Weishar has taken off his redshirt and is intent on making up for lost time. In a position battle that lacks a returning starter (or anybody with any significant experience), Weishar is making sure that the coaching staff sees him as a viable option to contribute, especially in the pass game.

  20. Irish A-to-Z: Nick Watkins

    Aug 18, 2015, 8:42 AM EDT

    South Bend Tribune / Robert Franklin South Bend Tribune / Robert Franklin

    After a freshman season swimming in the proverbial deep end, cornerback Nick Watkins enters his sophomore season with a better understanding of Brian VanGorder’s defense. And he better. Because with KeiVarae Russell and Cole Luke in front of him, Watkins’ path to the field is just as tough as it was in 2014.