BYU Football: Heaps to Transfer; Can Mendenhall's Departure Be Far Behind?
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Jake Heaps is going to transfer from BYU. Should we really be surprised?
“Jake has decided to leave the program in pursuit of a fresh start for he and his young family,” Mendenhall said. “Jake is a great young man with tremendous potential and someone I deeply care about. I am sorry to see him leave this wonderful institution, yet anxious to follow his future development and success.”
Heaps will not take part in any further practices and will not participate in the team’s matchup with Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30.
During his two seasons with the Cougars, Heaps has seen his role change more frequently than the weather in Utah. Okay, not that often, but you catch my drift.
If any of us were to put ourselves in Heaps’ sneakers, we’d probably transfer too.
Think about it. You enter your freshman season as part of a two-man rotation, then wind up the starter for the rest of the season after your co-quarterback, Riley Nelson, goes down with an injury in the third game of the season.
Your solid play for the remainder of the season and in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl—for which you earned MVP honors—solidifies your role as the starter. You hold the starting job until the fifth game of the 2011 campaign when you are yanked in favor of Nelson, your backup at the start of the season.
Were you surprised by Heaps' decision to transfer?
Following another Nelson injury against Idaho, you’re handed the ball as the starter again, but with the understanding that no matter how well you play, when Nelson returns, he’s the starter.
That, my friends, was the writing on the wall.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s announcement that Nelson was his starter no matter what was the nail in the coffin for Heaps’ career in Provo. And possibly his own.
Although Nelson has shown grit and determination this season, it’s still unclear if he can stay healthy for an entire season or not. Without Heaps, BYU’s quarterback situation has become even more precarious.
The manner in which Mendenhall has allowed the Nelson-Heaps situation to unfold seems like the actions of someone who doesn’t intend to stick around to see the fallout.
Everyone loves a good drama and drama has not been in short supply since BYU declared its football independence in 2010. Too bad most of that drama has not been on the field.
It will be interesting to see where Heaps finishes his college playing career. My money goes on him winding up with the other former BYU quarterback at the University of Washington.
It is, after all, where he should have gone in the first place.
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