Wide receiver Charlie Hegedus received a thrill last Friday night that few true freshmen get the opportunity to have.
It was not that Hegedus was on the field playing, although that is a noteworthy accomplishment in itself considering Hegedus was the only rookie from NC State's 2012 recruiting class aside from junior college transfers Deylan Buntyn, a defensive tackle, and Robert Caldwell, a linebacker, to play.
But Hegedus is also a native of Marietta, Ga., and played at Lassiter High School, which if the traffic is good can be a little over 30 minutes away from the Georgia Dome, venue for last Friday's season opener against Tennessee.
Hegedus secured eight tickets for the game for his family, and a bunch of his friends took the initiative to buy tickets on their own.
"It was just crazy," Hegedus admitted. "I just got really excited to be back in Atlanta, my hometown."
He knew he was going to play. The offensive coaches had given him a heads up that he would get on the field.
"I was a little nervous at first, but when we all got out there, it just felt so amazing to be out there on the field," Hegedus recalled. "It really wasn't nerves, it was just excitement to go out there and perform."
To top the evening off for Hegedus, who played 20 snaps Friday, he caught the lone pass thrown his way, a seven-yard crossing route.
"I just ran my route, got open, just caught the ball," Hegedus said. "It felt like any other pass
"I just wanted to make a play and get up on the field."
Hegedus said that other than the speed of the game nothing really surprised him about his college debut. His only regret was simple.
"I wanted to play, and to win," Hegedus said. "That would've been nice."