December 5, 2011

Report: Jake Heaps transferring from BYU

News broke this morning from Mason Kelly, the high school sports recruiting coordinator at the Seattle Times, that Jake Heaps is transferring from Brigham Young. BYU has now confirmed this with an official release.

Kelly is said to be close with Heaps and his family, who hail from the greater Seattle area. Kelly places likely transfer destinations for Heaps as Cal, Washington, Washington State, and maybe USC. Early speculation leans toward Cal and Jeff Tedford's pro-style system, as Zach Maynard will be a senior next year while Heaps must sit. Washington was the final competition for BYU in Heaps's initial recruitment. Washington State may also come into play with Mike Leach--a BYU grad--taking over in Pullman.

After growing pains in his freshman year, Heaps finished 2010 with a bang. With cracked ribs, Heaps led his team on two impressive drives on the road against heated rival Utah (only to have a BYU field goal blocked to deny a victory). In the bowl game, Heaps torched UTEP and led BYU to 50+ points. But this season, with new offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, Heaps regressed. Seeming to lack confidence both in himself and from many of his teammates, Heaps was benched after the stagnating BYU offense put the Cougars in a hole at home against in-state rival Utah State. Heaps saw action in two recent games against Idaho and New Mexico State with Riley Nelson injured, leading BYU to 42-7 victories in both games, but was put back on the bench last week at Hawaii.

Much of the problems surrounding Heaps seemed to be off the field, as speculation (which we have confirmed with sources) abounds regarding a split between upper- and lower-classmen regarding Heaps's work ethic.

For BYU, this would seem to leave Riley Nelson in sole possession of the starting job for 2012 in his senior year, along with fellow senior James Lark serving as the backup. Taysom Hill, originally committed to Stanford, is set to return from his church mission and join the team next year as well.

Update: Here is Mason Kelly's piece on the transfer, including quotes from Heaps

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