The defender was handed a starting role in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over holders Falkirk in the Ramsdens Cup and delivered a solid performance at right-back.
Hegarty was a regular on the bench last season but had yet to make a first-team start until the second-round clash with the Bairns, which saw fellow Northern Irishman Andy Little grab the only goal of the game.
And he says nerves would have been a factor had he been given too long to dwell on the prospect of finally making his senior bow.
Hegarty said: "I found out I was starting two and a half hours before the game and I think that was a good thing for me.
"I would have been nervous if I'd been told the day before so it wasn't a bad thing.
"I felt my performance was solid. The main thing was keeping a clean sheet and we did that. It was hard but that was the main thing for me."
The 20-year-old was the first player to sign for Rangers after the club was consigned to liquidation in the summer.
The youngster's previous Ibrox contract had expired and he penned a new one-year deal with the newco in June.
He said: "The main reason is that I'm a Rangers fan and I want to stay at the club and help them win whatever they can and do my bit for the club.
"The lads want it more than ever, just to prove a point to everyone. Everyone wants to win.
"Training is positive. Everything is positive now. We've got over what's happened to the club."
Hegarty believes Rangers can win a quadruple of trophies this season, as they battle for honours in the Irn-Bru Third Division, the William Hill Scottish Cup, the Scottish Communities League Cup and the Ramsdens Cup.
He said: "I definitely think so. We're very positive about everything we're going for this year so I don't see why not.
"It would be brilliant and would tell everyone what the club is about. It's just a natural thing - everybody at the club wants to win."
Manager Ally McCoist has again stressed the need to strengthen his squad before a 12-month transfer embargo kicks in on September 1.
Hegarty said: "We have a really good base of a squad just now and if the manager wants to bring in a few more players, it would really strengthen the squad.
"I think we've got a strong squad at the moment.
"But a bit of competition is not a bad thing at any club. You want to have competition because it drives you on and makes you want to work harder."Meanwhile, Rangers have announced a merchandising deal with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.
The Newcastle owner has been in negotiations with Rangers over making an investment in the club.
However, a spokesperson for SportsDirect.com said the retail contract and potential investment from Ashley were "two completely different matters".
The oldco Rangers had a £3million annual contract with JJB Sports but Charles Green's company negotiated an exit.
Rangers chief executive Green said: "This deal will be beneficial to both parties but more importantly the supporters who will be able to buy direct from Rangers once again and support their club.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Rangers to really drive revenues through the sale of merchandise with SportsDirect.com and profits will be reinvested back into the team and the club."