Comments about ‘BYU football: Most effective quarterback should play’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Oct. 2 2011 8:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Provo, UT

There is NO QB controversy. Start Riley. BYU needs a playmaker with a weak offense, a mediocre running game and a QB (Heaps) who clearly isn't ready to play. I'm not sure when or if he ever will be. The future is NOW to play and win. Stunting Heaps' development should be the least of BYU's worries.

Riley, like last year, is the QB for BYU at this time and possibly through the end of the season. Nobody cares about next season. They care about winning games this season.

Sandy, UT

The problem is coaching. We have the talent and athletes to compete with all these programs. What we don't have is the coaching I'm sorry to say.

If we did have coaching, I'd say stick with Heaps. But since we don't, Riley needs to be given the reigns. He makes things happen even if we don't "execute". We won't win a championship with him but we will win some games.

And finally what about Lark? He seems more mature than Jake and a little more prototypical passer. He also should be considered as they reevaluate things.

Dr Rush
Saint George, UT

What? Rotate Nelson and Heaps? Yeah right,Heaps has played himself out of the picture,he got way more chances than he should have.They should rotate Nelson and Lark!! May the best QB win.

Big Hapa
Kaysville, UT

Jake has done exactly what he did last year. Against poor programs he shined, and would fade against average to good programs Nevada last year, FSU in a rebuilding year and got hammered by USU enough said.

Riley showed his metal and all could see he is head and shoulders above Jake. You could feel the gloomy, wet blanket of losing the game Friday night settling in LES and suddenly Riley shows up and saves the day.

Yes you should play the QB that is going to bring leadership, respect and the complete effort, that rally's the team and they Rise Up.

There is no doubt who is the leader and who needs to learn how to be a leader.
There is no shoulda, coulda, woulda here Play Riley and win.

Tom in CA
Vallejo, CA

"Suddenly, BYU's coaching staff has a quarterback controversy on its hands, with important questions to consider and a big decision to make."

No QB controversy here. The choice is clear. There are no big decisions. Riley Nelson earned the starting spot on Friday night. If Heaps can't take warming the bench (indefinitely), then the Cougars don't need him.


Bronco, if "this community is difficult", it is at least partly due to you and players like Heaps continually talking about things like raising the bar, Quest for Perfection, and winning a National Championship. If you're going to make public statements about those kinds of things, you can't be surprised when the fanbase is disappointed and disillusioned when reality is so far away from the expectation that you helped set.

Nelson has at least earned a shot as the starting quarterback, and personally, I'm much more comfortable with his deameanor and attitude in the spotlight than that of Heaps. You're right - the scrutiny that goes along with being the starting quarterback at BYU is tremendous; Nelson seems much better equipped to handle all of that right now, while Heaps still seems like a young man who needs to grow up a bit - physically, socially and emotionally.

washington, utah

heaps should be rotated, right to the bottom of the qb list and rotate the other qb's one spot up towards there turn at the starting position.


You cannot hurt Heaps development by benching him. You hurt his development by accepting his performance and letting him continue to play. His performance has not been acceptable. If Jake wants to play at this level then he has to learn to step up. Give him a few weeks on the bench and bring him in for a long bomb now and then. He will develop just fine from the bench.


"Against the Aggies, Heaps completed 11-of-25 passes for 107 yards. Nelson completed 10-of-14 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed 11 times for 68 yards. He also provided a jolt of energy to a previously listless offense. Even before Nelson's late-game heroics, he picked up a critical first down in the first quarter with an aggressive run on a fourth-and-1 play at the Aggie 5-yard line, picking up four yards and setting up the Cougars' first touchdown of the game."

This should tell you the answer. I'd be shocked if they start Heaps. However, if Nelson finishes the season as the #1, Heaps will transfer guaranteed. I say we get rid of him

Salt Lake City, UT

"the few reps I get in practice and things like the spring game, I try to make those as game-like as possible. I tried to control my emotions so they were the same in those practice situations as they were in the game. I will admit you go in there and automatically the heart starts beating and your mind starts racing. I tried really hard to calm myself down and just play football. I didn't do it perfectly, but I feel like I did a pretty good job.""

Kid has a good head on his shoulders.

Cedar Hills, UT

If I have to watch Neilsens Wobbbbbbbly duck passes all over the field for the rest of the season, or Doman calling a QB draw ever other play Im not sure if I will enjoy watching the rest of the games, I am still going to watch but Heaps doesn't need to be thrown under the bus just yet. They need to start him next game and see how he responds in the first quarter. If he doesn't step his game up then bring in Riley. but don't riley is not the future answer keep grooming Heaps. Heaps is the future not lefty. Sometimes players learn a ton more in controversy then when everything is peachy.


Heaps will have the starting job again next year so he will be back. But he needs to learn from Riley Nelson right now.

Old Navy
Provo, UT

Heaps may be more talented, but sometimes it takes more than talent. Detmer wasn't the most physically gifted qb, but he was intense and smart. Kellen Moore at Boise State doesn't have the greatest physical talent either, but he can flat out play and knows how to pick a defense apart.

Nelson brings leadership, maturity, mobility, and intensity to the table. The BYU offense responded to him differently than Heaps. And he found a way to win the game. That speaks volumes. Heaps may be the future, but let's worry about this season now. Nelson has earned the starting job.

Idaho Falls, ID

I must admit, Nelson is refreshing interview for a BYU QB. Well done.

Resurrecting the 2-headed monster (2 QB system) would be a very bad idea. It would be a gross injustice if Riley doesn't start. If he plays poorly, then try someone else. But Nelson at least has earned the start for the next game. If the coaches anoint someone the starter and can't lose it over performance issues, that sends the wrong message to future recruits that they won't be allowed to compete. Ogletree is right. Everyone else on the team has to perform to hold their starting position. Why not the QB.

Your post is spot-on! I am getting tired of Bronco dissing on the BYU fans and boosters. If he is turned off by the high expectations of the fans and boosters then he needs to tone down the hype that he feeds to the media. He should take a lesson from Whittingham on remaining very low key in statements to the media before the season begins.

Mapleton, UT

With Bronco, who knows. So far this season Heaps has not shown he has the tools. And he should wait his turn, if that means he transfers, then he is more interested in himself than BYU. If Heaps transfers, can Bronco go with him?


Pretty disappointed in the above comments. Surely Riley deserves to start the next game perhaps. But it is shortsighted to throw Jake the consensus best high school prospect under the Bus. He played great last year against Utah even when only allowed to pass on 3rd and long. BYU coaches need to take responsibility for anemic pass attempts per game for 2yrs, receivers dropping balls and little separation. Love Detmer etc. but Jake hasn't had the 4,5 interception games that other great BYU QB. have had. Let Heaps run the qb draw like McMahon, naked bootleg like Young,5 int. like Detmer etc. before you give up on him.
Do you think BYU can recruit top receivers with a QB with an arm like Riley? The future likely rests with a QB with great tools like Jake or Tyson Hill. My advice to BYU open it up and play to win like the BYU of old.

Roy, UT

Calm Down People!!! I remember as a kid in Buffalo, the Bills got TWO GOOD QB's, and Joe Furguson won the job over Gary Marangi, a few years went by and here and there Marangi got in and shined like a new penny! Then Furguson broke his back, and I thought, FINALLY THE BETTER QB will show them, HE STUNK! Marangi was gone a year later for Bill Munson! You can't just "Scrap" a guy who is the #1 Recruit for having a slow start after what he did last year, he needs work, he has a new offense, a lot of things ARE different for him, and his time is way off. In comes Nelson, a Go Getter who not only wants to play, but wants to win, and compete and he's a leader! He obviously deserves the start to "Observe" if he is the "Spark" the offense needs to get it going? Another thing with this, Texas was not Heap's fault AT ALL! When you Call Plays so your QB doesn't LOSE the game you give it away by losing your momentum! That was BAD OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR, so don't blame that one On Him! That was all_Doman!

Orem, UT

I know what I would do. I would start Nelson and give Heaps mop-up duty this year and ask him to red shirt next year.
Heaps has the respect from the team given to a guy who gets a lot of fan and media scrutiny, but not the respect give to a guy who knows how to win.
I remember Mendenhall wanting Nelson's leadership last year and then again at the beginning of this year. I think Mendenhall needs to go with he believes is right and he believes in Nelson.
Also, I remember Doman's first few years at BYU as well as a few spring games, his arm was pathetic, but he stuck it out and Lance Reynolds designed an offense to suit Doman and Luke Stahley and BYU started 12-0 before those two got hurt and BYU lost it's last two games.
Doman should understand what it takes to win and quite frankly, Heaps simply needs to develop more as a leader. I know he thinks he is a leader, but nothing says leadership like results.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, Utah

My prediction:

Nelson sees a lot more playing time, possibly becoming the starter. Heaps mans up and realizes he's not yet at the level he expects himself to be at (doesn't transfer, though; he's a better man than that). By the end of the season, Heaps gets better at decision-making and confidence in tough situations. By Heaps' senior year, he shines like a star, although his career stats are tainted by his freshman/sophomore years.

Just a prediction, one which I will not guarantee will take happen. Just my thoughts right now.

Enid, OK

Time to start, Nelson.

Usually I'd say he's nowhere near as accurate as Heaps, but lately Heaps has been anything accurate. Plus, Heaps hasn't shown any real fire for quite some time this season.

Over pride and an L or humility and a W, I'll take the W.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments