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12-05-2011, 12:25 PM #1
Jake Heaps seeking transfer from BYU
This is a huge fubar for BYU if you ask me. The guy has NFL talent and they didn't develop it. They are letting the potential next great BYU QB walk away...
I wonder where he will end up?
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12-05-2011, 12:29 PM #2
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12-05-2011, 12:30 PM #3
Rumor is: Washington, Washington State, Cal or USC
12-05-2011, 12:33 PM #4The guy has NFL talent and they didn't develop it.
did you ever watch heaps actually play?
12-05-2011, 12:47 PM #5
He will be in the NFL if someone develops his talent. Mark my words.
12-05-2011, 03:54 PM #6
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Marked... Now, I watched him play. There was not a quarterback controversy this year. It was his team and his job. Jake got worse as the season rolled on. Yes, he has talent. But the kid needs a shrink or a punch in the teeth, I am not sure which, maybe both. Maybe his dad needs a punch in the teeth too. All I know is that he, in his mind, sorta skipped the college requirement and he thinks he deserves to be playing in the NFL. I wish him well, where ever he lands. But he will not be successful in the NFL if he doesn't get his head and attitude on right.Life is Good
12-05-2011, 05:17 PM #7
12-05-2011, 05:47 PM #8
seriously, i wonder if you've ever seen this kid play football? he was given every chance to succeed at BYU. at his best, he was average. at his worst, he was truly abysmal.
there are lots of unique "byu" issues with their coaching style, no doubt. but jake heaps was pretty much given every reasonable chance to be "the guy." but he wasn't, the team didn't respond to him, he couldn't lead a horse to water, and he was terrible come game time. on paper, he looks great, in high school he was a stud. but he can't slow down the game enough to make plays at this level. he stares down every receiver, and consistently misses wide open plays. worst, he lacks any apparent competitive edge, and he truly looks scared out there to take a hit (note the fumble in the utah game, and the pick 6 at ol miss). he earned the starting job with his play last year and was tabbed as THE man this year, only to subsequently lose it with absolutely terrible quarterbacking. so what should have been done in order to develop him better? perhaps sit him a year and help him mature? that's exactly why he is transferring.
i have nothing against heaps, i was hopeful he'd be a true stud at BYU, and wish him success wherever he goes. but anyone who has watched him play for the last two years knows he is not what he was hyped up to be, and there is pretty much zero evidence thus far that suggests he'll be successful in the NFL. is it possible? certainly. but right now, he looks like a boy amongst men. he didn't fit at BYU, for whatever reason. regardless, BYU has proven they are better with him on the bench.
12-05-2011, 06:12 PM #9
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12-05-2011, 07:57 PM #10
Wasn't John Beck Crowton's recruit? Max Hall has done very little on Sundays. Where is he now? Both of these guys were coached by a different OC. What has Domain proven so far?
Heaps struggled this year, but I think they pulled the plug too early. He didn't learn much riding the pine, but he may have against all the suck dog state squads. Would their record have been much different this year with him behind center?
I thought he played very well for a true freshman in 2010 and I was particularly impressed watching him play live against Utah. I was surprised that they started a barely healthy Nelson against Hawaii. I guess the writing was on the wall.
12-05-2011, 08:16 PM #11
if you actually think jake played better than riley nelson, you clearly haven't watched the kid.
and seriously? live against utah this year he was PATHETIC. yes, their record would've been different, for one, they would've lost at USU which was arguably the turning point in the season. heaps for whatever reason lost the team long ago, he just wasn't a competitor. he didn't train over the summer with the team, he came into camp out of shape, and he didn't perform. can't blame the coaches for playing the best player available. the kid lost the starting spot fair and square, and now he's leaving because he seems to have some sort of entitlement issues. heaps might have a higher ceiling, but he probably doesn't want to redshirt at BYU or sit behind nelson next year.
p.s. beck played under doman as a qb coach in 2006, hall played 07, 08, 09.
12-05-2011, 08:37 PM #12
Obviously he didn't play well against Utah this year. I was talking about last year. I don't attend games in Provo...
Utah State was a good team this year and nearly won 2-3 more games. Of course Nelson played better. He had the cupcake schedule and reps while Heaps was riding the pine. Heaps was 4-2 (with a loss by 1 point to Texas) and 5-2 as a starter if you count USU which I don't give the win to anybody but the football gods...tipped ball.
12-05-2011, 08:50 PM #13
Nelson was 4-1 and 5-1 if you count a lucky tipped ball...
They gave up on Heaps.
12-05-2011, 08:50 PM #14
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12-05-2011, 08:55 PM #15
Great read by Greg Wrubell.
Cougar Tracks: Snap Decision
by Greg Wrubell
Monday's news that BYU quarterback Jake Heaps will transfer brings to an end the brief Cougar career of a player Bronco Mendenhall just last fall called "the future of the program."
It was in late November of 2010 that Mendenhall and Heaps were together on the coach's weekly KSL Radio show, and by that time, Heaps already had a handful of starts and wins under his belt, as a true freshman--only the second true freshman, non-redshirt, non-returned missionary ever to get a start as a BYU QB (Drew Miller was the first, in 1997).
That night, Mendenhall spoke of that rarity, and how he felt Heaps was unusually prepared for the weight of that role.
"Jake came into the program more poised and more ready and more polished and more skilled and more prepared than I think any other quarterback has come into any Division I program this year," Mendenhall said that night.
"That doesn't mean the transition is easy, but what it does mean is his ability to learn, grasp the concepts, take feedback from a great coach in (QB) Coach (Brandon) Doman, apply it and then get better the next week, and keep chipping away at a complete game...has now led to a body of work that's pretty impressive in his first year."
Heaps spoke of the recruiting process and "an entire (BYU coaching) staff that really cares and wants you there."
"BYU was always close to my heart," said Heaps, "even though at times, at the beginning of (the recruiting process), I didn't want it to be. I wanted to go to Washington, my dream school, at home. But BYU was just so consistent, Coach Mendenhall was just so consistent, Coach (Brandon) Doman was so consistent--everything stayed true, they didn't deviate, they didn't change anything."
Of Mendenhall, Heaps said "he's never been a person to give more than what is deserved. You see a lot of head coaches, they want to build you up and say 'hey, you know what, you can be the biggest guy on campus as soon as you walk on...you can be this and that'... and Coach Mendenhall is (saying) 'you've got a long ways to go when you walk on campus."
Today, Heaps is walking away from campus, leaving BYU, Mendenhall and Doman.
"I love Coach Doman to death," said Heaps last November. "He's my guy. He has developed me into what I'm doing right now. I can't say enough good things about that guy; it's kind of like we were made for each other. He's a tremendous guy and a tremendous coach; I really rely heavily on him. He still pushes me harder and harder. It's almost as if when I'm doing better, he's going to be pushing me even more."
Mendenhall said of Doman that night that "he is really, in my opinion, the one that is responsible. Coach Doman is not only so helpful in helping Jake develop and reach his potential-- which is going to be amazing when that happens."
Today's news ensures that if and when that happens, it will happen for a team other than BYU.
Earlier today, Heaps had the following comments, in an interview published on a Northwest high school football/recruiting site:
"I've got a lot of mixed emotions. This wasn't an easy decision."
"I want to thank everyone for the support they've given me. This has been an incredibly hard time for my wife and me, and she's been an absolute rock. I thought choosing a program when I was being recruited out of high school was hard, but it pales in comparison to making this decision. I have made so many friends here, and not just on the football team. People that will be friends of mine the rest of my life. I really respect and like Coach Mendenhall, he's a great man. I've learned a lot about football from Coach Doman. There are so many great guys on this team, it's going to be really hard to leave them. I've had some time to think about this decision and it's not one I came to lightly. I have no idea where I'm going to end up, and haven't talked to anyone. There are a lot of great programs out there, and I'm excited to do some research and find the right fit."
On why he announced his decision before the bowl game:
"Out of respect for the coaches and players on the team. It wouldn't have been fair to them if I was going thru meetings, practices, and recruiting weekends knowing the whole time I wanted to and was going to transfer. I also can't do something half heartedly. If I'm somewhere I want to be fully committed to it. Though I would have been there physically, I wouldn't have fully been there mentally. And another reason is that I need to figure out where I'm going to be next year. If I'm going to enroll somewhere in January, I have a very limited amount of time to make a decision. I'm also married and have a wife to think about. Wherever I end up, we've got to get our living situation taken care of and that takes time. So overall, I thought the timing of this decision was best for everyone involved."
"I still have finals to take this semester. So that's my first priority. Once I'm granted my release, my wife and I will sit down and talk. I learned a lot from going through the recruiting process out of high school. I've also matured a lot as a person and player from my time here in Provo. So I know the things to look for in a program and the questions to ask a coach."
"Obviously the sooner the better, but I' not going to rush a decision just to make one. The first thing I have to do is find out who's interested in me. From there I'll sit down with my wife and the people involved in helping me make this decision."
"I have the utmost respect for the BYU program; its coaches, players, alumni, and student body. I had a great experience there. But it's time for me to close that chapter of my life and start a new one. This has been a big weight lifted off my shoulders. This decision is behind me and I'm looking forward to what's in store. And I also want to let everyone know that this will be the only interview I do this week. That will give my wife and I some time to gather our thoughts and start planning out our future. When the time is right and I have more answers to the questions people have, I'll talk to everyone then."
In the immediate aftermath of Heaps being benched in favor of Riley Nelson late in the Nelson-led comeback win over Utah State, I wrote that "if a player were to seriously consider a transfer at the first real hint of results- related adversity, then you've recruited the wrong guy. And I don't think BYU recruited the wrong guy."
Much of that sentiment was based on a belief that Heaps had a long BYU career ahead of him, a career that past BYU greats took the full five years to completely realize. I also believed that the competitor in Heaps would emerge as he learned by watching and preparing for his next opportunity to play. I believed a big-picture perspective would instill in him the toughness required to not only fight off competitors but lead a team. And I believed that the Jake Heaps who spoke alongside his head coach late in the 2010 season was a player who also wanted to be at BYU for reasons that went beyond football.
Heaps didn't go into specifics on the reasons he is choosing to close the BYU chapter of his life, but it is apparent that neither Heaps nor his coaches expected what transpired in 2011.
Following a 2010 season in which Heaps set practically every freshman quarterbacking record in the BYU book, the assumption was that his natural progression would lead him and BYU to bigger and better things in 2011. A presumptive starter back in spring (as Riley Nelson still made his way back from shoulder surgery), Heaps entered summer without a battle to fight.
Some may have found it curious that as Heaps got on a roll at the end of his freshman season that Mendenhall was still not willing to designate Heaps as a starter for the 2011 campaign. I see that reluctance as Mendenhall's elemental aversion to, and frustration with entitlement.
Ultimately, Mendenhall conceded that Heaps would be the clear-cut starter in 2011, and the sophomore signal-caller was clearly not worried about losing his job. There were rumblings that Heaps' conditioning wasn't up to par, and that he could have had a better off-season with the skill position players, but Jake Heaps was now the man, no questions asked.
Throughout camp, scrimmages were light on live snaps, and certainly without any QB contact for Heaps (not unusual; many teams make their QBs off-limits in August). Still, there were few if any fears that Heaps would not be ready for live fire in September.
Yet, in each of the first five games of the season, as a new offensive staff implemented their new offense and as the running game lay dormant, Heaps completion percentage dropped, game by game. In his four complete games to start the season, BYU scored an average of 16 points per game. The schedule was not a necessarily easy one to start (road games at Ole Miss and Texas, home game with Utah), but not unmanageable, and the defense did its part, for the most part, to win those games.
It wasn't simply that the run attack failed to complement the pass game (although it did fail to do so), or that the offensive coaches were initially trying to do too much (although that is probably true), it was that Heaps never looked comfortable. Long balls, which were a specialty, sailed beyond receivers. Short passes were at receivers' knees, feet and over their heads. Hints of pressure resulted in aborted plays and rushed throws. His game was off, in every possible way, and only Heaps may be able to say why it was.
Heaps' leadership and toughness were called into question (tip-toeing around traffic as a DB ran back a pick-six at Ole Miss remains a sore spot), and the offense was simply lifeless. The spark came in the form of junior QB Riley Nelson, late in the Utah State game--a game that Mendenhall says essenitally turned BYU's season around.
The comeback victory, symbolized by Nelson's unconventional game-winning plays, created a full-blown mid-season quarterback controversy, but instead of considering Nelson's performance a fluke and Heaps' return to proficiency a given, the coaching staff played the hot hand, it stayed hot, and the offense was re-configured, to significant success on the stat sheet and the scoreboard.
It was as if Nelson's presence had rubbed the grime off the looking glass, and offensive coaches were now able to see and call the game in a different, and better way. Yes, there is a schedule component that may have given Nelson and the coaches some more wiggle room, but even in a loss to TCU (which could be blamed almost entirely on special teams meltdowns), it was easy to see that the Horned Frogs were struggling to contain a BYU offense it manhandled with ease in previous seasons.
There was no doubt: Nelson was going to be the guy, meaning Jake Heaps now had doubts about whether he would ever be allowed to be the guy again.
Mendenhall tried to assuage those doubts, at least publicly, by calling Heaps a future NFL QB, while introducing the possibility of a redshirt season for Heaps, thus allowing separation between him and Nelson, and ostensibly giving Heaps a prospective two-year window in which to re- emerge as a starter. It was often in that two-year window that many of BYU's past greats were really seen for the first time.
Indeed, the final two years had always been when the QBs were expected to perform at their best. Gifford Nielsen only had two years as BYU's leading passer, Jim McMahon had two years (after a mid-career redshirt), Steve Young had two years, Robbie Bosco had two years, John Walsh had two years, Steve Sarkisian (who transferred in from juco as a junior) had two years. There were the exceptions: Marc Wilson, Ty Detmer, Kevin Feterik, John Beck, Max Hall--all were three year starters; all but Feterik were either redshirts, return missionaries, or both, and all had been backups.
A redshirt season for Heaps followed by a return to excellence was a possibility, but so was a transfer, which is ultimately the path he has chosen. His motives for doing so will be debated and discussed until he chooses to elaborate, but the Heaps saga will end up being instructive for all parties involved.
Heaps will discover if there was more to his struggles than simply a schedule, or a missing marquee running back, or an offensive coordinator learning on the fly, or a QB competitor who brought something different and ultimately something more to the table. Or, if getting better simply meant getting a little bit older.
Coaches will learn if in retrospect, they had either expected or even promised too much, too soon, in landing and then managing the most highly sought-after recruit in the school's history. I know Bronco Mendenhall was not making promises he had no intention of keeping, but some coaches coaches may have had to rub stars out of their eyes, when the feeling in their guts told them that it is a rare quarterback who can do that much while that young.
Could they have acquired Heaps is they told him they expected him to watch and learn for two years or more, even if that is what they knew would probably have to happen to maximize his potential? We don't know exactly what Heaps was actually told, but in November 2010, Heaps told us Mendenhall said "you've got a long ways to go when you walk on campus."
Heaps may have heard that, but I am sure he expected to win the starter's job in year one. When told he would be splitting reps with Riley Nelson, he was probably more upset than he was understanding. In the past, a true freshman may not have dreamed of being the man from day one. BYU's all-time leading passer, Ty Detmer redshirted, then backed up Sean Covey the next season--but Ty wasn't the country's top recruit. With acclamation comes expectation. And, perhaps entitlement.
Fans and media (self included) will learn to temper expectations. If nothing else, seeing Heaps struggle at the start of his career should be a stark reminder that excelling as an FBS quarterback takes more than camp rankings and a rifle arm. Judge it any way you want, but the fact is that the undersized "gamer" named Riley Nelson was clearly the better quarterback for BYU this season.
It may not look right to some people, just because Nelson is not prototypical, but if anyone doubts BYU was a better offensive team once Nelson took over, they are ignoring facts in favor of the idealized scenario that is borne of five-star ratings and a pro- style presence in the pocket. When it comes to the impact Nelson had in the locker room and on the team's persona, that is less easily measured, but more readily noted by those on the inside--noted and underlined.
Heaps had room to grow, and will grow into a fine and perhaps great QB. That it will happen somewhere else is either a shame or simply a reminder that games aren't won on paper, and that the dynamics forming the link between a team and its quarterback are at times even more crucial and complex than we ever deemed them to be.
12-05-2011, 09:04 PM #16
BTW...my next door neighbor is over watching MNF with me and is feeding me all this stuff from the web. :o)
He is a huge cougar fan and has been a season ticket holder for ten years. He's pissed about losing Heaps. I think some are pissed and others wish him well.
12-05-2011, 09:11 PM #17
it should be universal that BYU fans are mad about losing heaps. i wish he'd have stayed, i think most would agree. nelson is always a threat to get injured. but he's leaving because the better player is starting ahead of him, plain and simple.
and yes, that article from wrubell is solid.
12-22-2011, 04:58 PM #18
Interesting. The same place that Dayne Crist is headed. This could work out well for him.
Former Skyline and Brigham Young quarterback Jake Heaps announced Thursday he is transferring to Kansas.
The sophomore, who asked Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall to be released from his scholarship Dec. 5, took a visit to Lawrence, Kan. last weekend and decided to continue his career with the Jayhawks and new head coach Charlie Weis.
Heaps, 6 feet 1, 200 pounds, will sit out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules and will then have two years of eligibility left. He is the second quarterback to announce his intentions to transfer to Kansas after former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist announced his decision on Twitter earlier in the day.
"After a long & difficult decision making process, I'm incredibly excited to join the Kansas football team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!" Crist said through the social media site.
Crist, who spent four years at Notre Dame, will be able to play next season, because he has graduated from the university before his eligibility expired.
After leading Skyline to three state championships and compiling a 40-2 record as a high-school quarterback, Heaps was rated by many as the top quarterback prospect in the nation. He graduated early so he could play spring football, and started the final 10 games as a freshman at BYU and the first five in 2011.
In 2010 Heaps took over as the starter in after Riley Nelson suffered a shoulder injury. The Cougars won four of their last five regular-season games and the New Mexico Bowl. Heaps was the MVP.
He set BYU freshman records for passing yards (2,316), attempts (383), completions (219), passing touchdowns (15), wins (six), games started (10) and games played (13).
He was the Cougars' starting quarterback to open the 2011 season, throwing for 1,452 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions in nine games. However, he struggled early in the year and lost his starting job after Nelson led a late comeback against Utah State.
12-23-2011, 10:08 AM #19
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Crist doesn't have to sit out a year.... so Crist plays next year and Heaps the two years following.... sounds like a win-win for Kansas.
Except for the fact that you have to live in Kansas....
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