The ‘inside’ Jake Heaps

Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

            It doesn’t appear that Jake Heaps will turn out the quarterback he was expected to be. He wrapped up his junior year at Kansas with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His completion rate was 49 percent.

            He passed for under 100 yards in four separate games, though part of that was because he was on the bench. But it’s safe to say the former BYU quarterback – and most coveted recruit in the school’s history – has disappointed.

            Apparently I was wrong when I predicted he would be a successful QB after transferring to Kansas. His confidence seemed low – again — as his quarterback rating was 97 this season. His rating has slipped every year since he entered college as the most touted recruit in BYU history.

            But one thing I still believe is that he’s a good person, not a terrible locker room influence. I can’t say that from personal experience beyond some hurried interviews. One of the rumors when he was at BYU was that he was difficult and arrogant. I’ve said this before: If he was so difficult, why didn’t he blast BYU when he transferred to Kansas?

            When he was in Provo, he was obviously a player who had been coached both on and off the field. He said the right things, even after being benched in favor of Riley Nelson. Now he’s had production problems at Kansas. Still, last week I saw a tweet he sent:

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            It doesn’t say everything, but it says a lot.

          Heaps might not be the quarterback everyone wanted, but he could be the right person.

          In the long run, that’s probably better.



  1. Mark Freckleton

    Only in politics and sports do we see people blasted publicly for performance at the job. It’s almost as thought many people figure that underperformance is a character flaw. Sure Jake set himself up a little with the press conference at Iggy’s, but if I had my age 18 miscalculations and stupid actions broadcast, I imagine the fall-out would be pretty severe, assuming anyone cares about how dim I really was at that age.

    Of course the heat gets turned up for coaches – but then the head coach is making big bucks compared to the college athlete. On the other hand, when Jake transferred to Kansas, some blog comments made it sound like he had insulted the commmenter’s mother and dissed the Church.

  2. Casey Francis

    I got a chance to meet Jake on vacation here in Hawaii and he selflessly gave his time and energy to meet with our young men and it was a great experience for them. Nothing to gain for him, and he was a gracious and humble young man. Glad to have rubbed shoulders with him briefly…

  3. Val Umphress

    Thank you for the nice article Brad. I never met Jake Heaps, but i still vividly remember how BYU fans (myself included) were overjoyed to have him select BYU as his school. Jake was the number one ranked QB prospect and he had his choice of any of the big name schools. Yet, he chose to come to BYU. And all he wanted was to be a part of helping make BYU football great again. That said a lot about him, and that’s how I will remember him. I wish him only the best in his and his family’s future.

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