Vai's View: Vai's View: Jake Heaps situation, Part II

Published: Friday, Nov. 4 2011 10:00 a.m. MDT

I continue to believe that given the situation at BYU, Heaps will never resume the starting job unless Nelson gets hurt. Nelson has done what Heaps didn't: win the hearts and minds of his teammates.

I think Heaps can play somewhere, just not at BYU. Transferring should be a last resort. But there's also a relatively short window to do it if you're to capitalize on it. Who knows if Utah would even want Heaps, but their QB problems may not be solved in the next year or two so it might be a good fit. My guess is Heaps will be asked to redshirt at season's end.

I arrived at BYU just as Jim McMahon was coming off his redshirt year. Difference is, McMahon was better than Marc Wilson, so Jim never lost the faith of his coaches and teammates. Heaps doesn't have that luxury.

Heaps certainly isn't better than Nelson right now. I'm not sure that even after redshirting Heaps would be the guy. I think he's in that tight of a predicament.

Earlier this week, I exchanged emails with former BYU quarterback Todd Mortensen, now a Wharton MBA/JD candidate here in Philly, who I cited in my story last week. To recap, Mortensen was buried on the depth chart at BYU back in '04 so he transferred his senior year to the University of San Diego just so he could play. He played one year at USD then enjoyed a short-lived pro career on two NFL teams and one in the CFL. He read my column and while he was careful that he didn't advocate for Heaps to transfer, his perspective is nonetheless interesting.

"Your assessment of my situation was pretty accurate," Mortensen wrote. "I went to San Diego because I really wanted to have the chance to be a starter and know that I would be playing every Saturday. Having met Lori and gotten married made the move a little easier. Another big part of the decision for me to transfer was that I had already graduated with my degree by my junior year of eligibility. So, I had accomplished just about everything that I had hoped to do in deciding to come to BYU at that point. I had met my spouse and finished up my degree; the only thing that I hadn't done yet was have the chance to be a starting quarterback in college."

He went on to share his observation that transferring has produced mixed results among those who have left BYU for other places, such as Ben Olson to UCLA and Drew Miller going to Montana. It worked out splendidly for Miller, not so much for Olson. Mortensen added that transferring is a drastic measure and though it worked out swimmingly for him, it doesn't always shake out that way.

Bottom line? It's a crapshoot. I suggested last week that given the Utes' dire QB situation it may be an ideal landing spot for Heaps if he were to decide to leave. Utah may or may not be a possibility — that's up to them. But if I'm Jake, I would keep my options open. It's a fluid situation and based on what I'm seeing, BYU is not going to be good scenario for him.

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