Will BYU QB commit Billy Green be Jake Heaps 2.0?

The Brigham Young Cougars recently received a commitment from quarterback Billy Green. He plays for King’s High School in Shoreline, Washington. Green also receives training from the Barton camp; the same camp former BYU quarterback Jake Heaps attended.

Speaking of the recruiting process, Green was quoted by Brandon Gurney on DeseretNews.com as saying, “BYU coaches let me know that they were impressed with my performance and liked that I could play four or five straight years for them.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a minute. Did I read that right? The BYU coaches, namely offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman are talking to Green about the possibility of him starting for four years?

Green will be a senior this fall. He is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; therefore, delaying his football career to serve a two-year mission is not going to happen. That means he could arrive at BYU as early as January 2013 and will be able to compete for the starting quarterback position that a graduating Riley Nelson will leave vacant. If Green is going to “play four or five straight years,” then he would have to win the starting job in 2013.

Green would be the new kid on the block competing with Taysom Hill, Ammon Olsen, and the oft forgotten Jason Munns. At that point, Hill and Olsen would both have one year in the program and Munns would have four. None would have much, if any, game experience.

Where have I seen this before?

Not too long ago, January 2010 to be exact, BYU faced this same situation with Barton camp alum Jake Heaps. Riley Nelson had one year in the program, but the competition to be the guy who replaced Max Hall was left wide open. We all remember how this ended. Suffice it to say, BYU coaches would be wise not to repeat the less than prudent way they managed a delicate situation.

That begs the question: Why are the BYU coaches insinuating to Green that playing four years is a possibility? Didn’t they learn from the Jake Heaps ordeal that it is better not to start a true freshman? Didn’t they learn that handing over the reigns to the new kid on the block can divide the team and have a negative effect in games?

I am not saying it was a bad decision for BYU to offer Green. Conversely, I am also not saying it was a bad decision for Green to commit to BYU. The offer to Green may indicate that the Cougars coaching staff isn’t planning on redshirting Hill this season. That would make him a sophomore in 2013. If Green redshirts 2013, then he would still be a freshman in 2014 when Hill is a junior. That would give Green two years to start (2016 and 2017) after Hill graduates. That resolves the log jam, but it contradicts the concept of playing four straight years.

It sure would be nice to know what the BYU coaches are thinking. Right now, what they are reported to have said gives the impression Green could be Jake Heaps 2.0. With all due respect to Green and Heaps, that is not what BYU needs.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com


  1. I think you completely misinterpreted what he meant by "play". If he's talking about 5 possible years of "playing", then he obviously counts a redshirt year as "playing". As such, I think it's obvious that he just meant he'll be with the program for at least 4 straight years (which is somewhat unique for BYU)

  2. Possibly could have meant that the coaches liked the idea of having a QB around for 4-5 straight years with no two-year mission break for some consistency.

  3. Playing four or five straight years is more about not interrupting a career for missionary service than it is "starting" four straight years. You seem to be reading way more into the comment than was intended.

  4. Whoa. Your points are valid but the premise is false. They didn't say he would start 3 or 4 years. They stressed the fact he will be in program for 4-5 years consecutively, to develop, since he is non-LDS. With no mission he is a valuable asset at the QB position if he develops.

  5. "Playing" is not the same as "starting". In the context of the article, "playing" means "being a member of the team", because obviously you can't play, let alone start, for 5 years if your definition of play is to be the QB on the field during an official NCAA game.

  6. Once he sets foot on BYU, he will convert and serve a mission.

  7. Jake Heaps' problem was his personality and work ethic, not his home state. 2 different kids. I'm not worried.

    Actually, this post borders on irresponsible to me, but I will take it as entertainment and not go that far.

  8. Thanks for all the feedback. I will address these issues in the Friday Mailbag that will be posted later today.

  9. Mailbag is up. Here is the link:


  10. This article makes it look like you don't know the difference between STARTING and PLAYING.

    If I am this recruit or his family, and I read your article, I'm not pleased.


  11. BurbankCoug,

    They may see this article as being complimentary that I would think Billy is good enough to cause some contraversy in the QB battle next year, instead of maintain the status quo/foregone conclusion that Taysom Hill will be the starter in 2013.

    It is all about perspective. Read the mailbag to better understand my perspective on the rest of your comment and everyone elses.


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