Today we are in mid-July, the heat of college football summer recruiting. QB Jake Heaps now is sitting in his home in Sammamish, Wash. with the biggest grin on his face. Not only because he has currently signed with the Cougars, but because he is starting a new trend. He in fact is the face of it.
Back in a press conference in June, Heaps (as well as Texas WR Ross Apo and California LB Zac Stout) all verbally commited to play football for the Cougars. As Brandon Grunney, a BYU reporter, stated, this will be remembered as "the biggest day in BYU recruiting history."
That's a pretty strong statement.
In all honesty the Cougars have been absolutely tearing up the recruiting trail this season with 19 current commitments. That ranks them thirteenth overall in Scouts national recruiting rankings. Bronco Mendenhall prefers to get his work done in recruiting as he has nabbed 65 percent of his recruiting class before August of the previous deadline.
What's funny is this recruiting season is following pattern just as written.
BYU is a private school sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since this school in fact is the only LDS Program in the nation, that allows them acces to the best LDS-Athletes in the nation.
The Cougars can in fact recruit non-LDS students, but they must be very precise with the players they select. These students must in fact be accepting of the Honor Code and if broken these players are up for a possible suspension.
So from this, the Cougars have had to be quite nit-picky with their recruits. When getting players like Heaps, that sets them up and brings tons of national attention to a program that rarely gets such air time.
Heaps is the number one QB rated in many recruiting rankings and had heavy offers from power schools such as USC, Georgia, UCLA, and Tennessee. He's never lost a game in high school, won two state titles, and passed for a whopping 6,000 yards along with 70 TDs.
Heaps definitely has the talent, but has also proven to have the intangibles of leadership, star-power, and publicity around him to bring not only the top LDS Athletes, but the top non-LDS Athletes as well.
In a sense, Heaps is tired of programs like the BYUs, TCUs, and the Boise States being overlooked all the time. He in fact has gone out and passed up these luxorious programs so that he can send a message: No longer will the BYUs of the world be overlooked.
As Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has fought for, the BCS was voted on in congress and Heaps is right behind him. Heaps is hanging hard to bring prominence back to the overlooked "small" programs of the world and this move has definitley got the ball rolling.
If there is anyone looking out for still under the radar, it is in fact BYU.
The sad fact is that it may be too late before anyone notices how good BYU truly will be.