Heaps started classes at BYU in January 2010. Max Hall had just completed his BYU career, and the starting quarterback spot was up for grabs. Heaps exceeded everyone’s expectations during spring football, and in fall camp earned himself some guaranteed playing time.
September 4, 2010, a new chapter in the Heaps fairy tale began. In the very first game that he was eligible, Heaps made his debut. True to fairy tale protocol, that game was against his hometown Washington Huskies, and, yes, BYU won. Heaps played a key role in the win. He rotated offensive series at quarterback and directed two scoring drives (both field goals) in the six-point win. By the end of game three last year, Heaps was the full-time starter.
At season’s end, Heaps had set new freshman records at “Quarterback U” for most touchdown passes, passing yards, completions, attempts, and wins in a season. To cap it all off, Heaps earned MVP honors at the New Mexico Bowl after guiding BYU to a 52-24 win and setting three BYU bowl records.
Like any good fairy tale, Heaps’ freshman season balanced peeks at his heroic potential with good doses of opposition. In the first half of the season, Heaps was very pedestrian at times. Twice he had less than 100 yards passing in a game. He also lost three of his first four starts.
The 2011 football season will start in a few short days, and the pen is prepared to chronicle the new adventures of this Davey O'Brien Award candidate. The plot is perfectly laid out for a sensational part two in the Heaps fairy tale.
- Heaps will lead BYU as it opens a new era as a college football independent.
- Heaps can avenge three of his four losses as a starter from a year ago. Rematches with Utah, Utah State, and TCU are on the schedule.
- Heaps will be showcased nationally as his Cougars become a fixture on ESPN.
- Heaps has a showdown with UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey who was also a freshman QB in 2010, but Godfrey is widely considered to have had the better season.
- Heaps will play at Hawaii in the regular season finale, which has been a huge stumbling block for other Cougar legends.
- Heaps’ place in Cougar lore will benefit greatly if he can pile up wins, pad his stats, and lead BYU up the national rankings.
The first step, however, is to go down to SEC country and deliver a win. Only one other BYU quarterback has done that, and it just so happens that he is Heaps’ tutor—offensive coordinator/quarterback coach Brandon Doman.
It’s your time to rise up, Jake. Seize the day!
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