Hegarty sticking with Notre Dame
Notre Dame has had its share of bad press and struggles on the field this season but four-star offensive tackle Matthew Hegarty is sticking by his commitment and said he isn't at all concerned about the program's future.
Hegarty, from Aztec, N.M., urged people to have patience with Brian Kelly and to take into consideration that the first-year coach still hasn't fully implemented his system or his players.
"If you look at a lot of great programs around the country they didn't have spectacular seasons with some of the first-year coaches," Hegarty said.
"Coach Kelly and his staff are going to do a great job there. It will take some time to change some things and put their system in place.
"That kind of thing just takes some time and people have to give it to him. People have discounted him right away, so early, and I'm really not too concerned with how they perform this year. People have to wait for him to get his system in place and then he'll get things going."
Rivals.com rates Hegarty, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound four-star prospect, fifth at offensive tackle, No. 40 overall and first in the Rocky Mountain state rankings.
Numerous national powerhouses including Auburn, LSU, Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas and USC offered him but Hegarty, who was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this week, committed to Notre Dame in late April and hasn't wavered.
With Notre Dame's recent struggles, Hegarty said he is still firmly committed and not looking around at all.
"There's an overall package at Notre Dame," Hegarty said.
"The academics are great and the alumni base is outstanding. There is great football tradition there with a ton of support and I really think the program is going to start coming around again with the new coaching staff. For me, I can't ask for much more than that."