Star tight end Matt Heuerman passes on football scholarship to pursue golf in college

Matt Heuerman
Matt Heuerman via Twitter
At 6-foot-6, Matt Heuerman towers over some of his teammates in Barton Collier High School in Naples, Florida.
By John Holmes
PGA.com

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, February 03, 2016 | 7:00 p.m.
 
Today is National Signing Day, when the nation's top high school football players officially decide where they'll be playing ball in college next fall. There are always a handful of big surprises on this day every year – and one of the biggest ones today involves golf.
 
Down in Naples, Florida, Honorable Mention All-State tight end Matt Heuerman declared his intention to not accept a football scholarship anywhere. Instead, he said, he's decided to pursue his love of golf, and will try to play his way onto a college golf team next  year.
 
"I've made up my mind," Heuerman told The Fort Myers News-Press. "Sometimes you just have to trust your gut."
 
Heuerman definitely could be playing college football in the future. At 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, he caught 51 passes for 685 yards and eight touchdowns for Barron Collier High School. In addition, his older brothers also played tight end at Barron Collier and went on to solid college careers – brother Mike played at Notre Dame, while brother Jeff played for Ohio State and is now a rookie with the Denver Broncos.
 
 
Both his brothers have struggled with injuries, and Matt himself tore his ACL during his freshman season. But, he says, the fear of getting hurt isn't what made him change his career path.
 
"It wasn't really a fear of getting injured," Heuerman said. "I know that comes with playing the game. But I know there's a time limit on football. I can play golf as long as I want."
 
Heuerman, who played golf even while focusing on football in high school, has been working on his game with Lloyd Johnson, a PGA instructor at Grey Oaks Country Club in Naples who has helped several junior players get college scholarships. Johnson told the newspaper that Heuerman's inexperience is mitigated by the fact that he is so athletically talented.
 
"I feel that if I put in as many hours as I did into football I'll continue to improve and get one step better each day," Heuerman said. "I'm excited to see where this takes me."