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BYU football: Jake Heaps not the only QB of note transferring to Kansas

Published: Thursday, Dec. 22 2011 3:12 p.m. MST

BYU Quarterback #9 Jake Heaps watches from the sidelines as BYU and Utah State play Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

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PROVO — Former BYU quarterback Jake Heaps is taking his talents to Lawrence, Kan.

Heaps announced Thursday that he is transferring to the University of Kansas.

Heaps, who took a recruiting trip to Lawrence last weekend, will play for new Jayhawk coach Charlie Weis.

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Heaps, a sophomore, will sit out the 2012 season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Heaps started the final 10 games last year and the first five games this year for the Cougars.

Earlier in the day, former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist announced he is also transferring to Kansas. But Crist will be eligible to play in 2012 as a senior because he has already graduated from Notre Dame.

This week, BYU coaches and players said they were sad to see Heaps leave Provo, but wished him the best.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall said he wasn't necessarily surprised that Heaps, who lost his starting job midway through the season, had decided to transfer.

"I was hopeful it would go the other way," Mendenhall said.

Heaps told the coaching staff that he was transferring the day after the regular-season finale against Hawaii on Dec. 4. He didn't want to remain with the Cougars through the bowl game, knowing he had already made up his mind to leave Provo.

"He wanted it done," said offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. "He didn't feel it fair to the team once he decided to transfer to hang around and serve any type of role wasn't fair to the team. I don't blame him."

Mendenhall said there are some lessons to be learned from the situation with Heaps, who became the first BYU quarterback to start more than one game as a true freshman.

"Just simply the fact that it validated what I had already believed," Mendenhall said. "However, our situation last year, Riley (Nelson) was the starter. Jake was battling, then when shoulder surgery occurred (for Nelson), Jake was our option. And he was a very good option. But it's not ideal (to play) as a freshman. That's taking nothing away from his performance because he really helped us and we played strong down the stretch."

NOT SPRINGING FORWARD YET: Though his team gets several extra practices prior to the Armed Forces Bowl, Mendenhall is not looking ahead to next season. He's focused on the bowl game and will focus on the 2012 campaign afterwards.

"Those are really two separate things because the dynamic of 19 seniors leaving, I view that as two separate things," he said. "Really, the start of the off-season will begin a whole new team. This particular year, I don't view it like that as much."

PRACTICE SCHEDULE: The Cougars will practice through Friday before taking the weekend off for Christmas. They leave for Texas on Monday.

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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