Dick Harmon: Jake Heaps, Cougars couldn't make it work

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  • haunyocker Springville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    Brooke and Jake deserve a big apology from the Nelson clan. Their action if true, certainly were classless. I would hope that Reilly's parents do the right thing and demand those in their family fess up and "Choose the Right" and say "we're sorry for our crass behavior."

    I believe that Jake still has to learn to stand up to the challenges of life. Maybe sitting out a year will help.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 8, 2011 3:00 p.m.

    I think that at least two of our coaches don't know how to be coaches. Doman was all over the place on TV and radio but he seems to have disappeared. Bronco will mouth some platitudes and pretend to be a leader. Leaders mold men, they don't turn on their own people. If Jake has only been a walk-on he'd be starting today. It's rough when you quarterback knows more about football than your offensive coordinator...get rid of the quarterback.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:04 p.m.

    Riley Nelson is a scrapper, for sure. However, he absolutely positively will NOT go as far in football as Jake Heaps. He's too small, too susecptable (sp?) to injuries and has slightly below average throwing accuracy and arm strength.

    All in all, BYU is now worse off without Heaps. A terribly disappointing mess.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:41 p.m.

    (clarification here)

    Article quote: "Switch to the night of Sept. 30, 2011, in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Jake's wife Brooke watched her husband get benched as BYU trailed late against Utah State. As his replacement Riley Nelson sparked a Cougar comeback, several rows behind her, members of Nelson's family (not his mom and dad) were observed yelling down at Brooke, "Why aren't you cheering now?"

    (and then the article says that his wife, Brooke, broke down in tears and never went to another BYU game again).

    Ouch. Double and triple ouch.

    That is NOT how BYU fans should act. So she wasn't happy about her husband being benched. If you love your spouse that's a tough pill to swallow with absolute grace and generousity. The Nelson family member who yelled that at her wasn't exactly handling the situation of her frustration with grace and generousity either, did they?

    That particular Nelson family member owes this young woman a huge, huge apology.

  • RedMormon Holladay, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    Here is a question for ya! Why would Jake Heaps transfer before reaping the benefits of the bowl game?! For example, free five day vacation for him and his wife, cash, bowl gifts, possibly a ring etc. What were you thinking Jake? Foolish mistake! You wanted out that bad? That is sad.

  • Robert Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    Jake just never really worked in games. He only beat very weak teams. He can't improvise. His accuracy is quite average.

    I doubt USC would take him after their long string of future NFL Hall-of-Famers -- Heaps doesn't fit the mold.

    I think leaving shows a lack of character, an immaturity, and unrealistic expectations.

  • Cougr4Life SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    Nelson better prove himself again next year when a highly touted quarterback is brought in. I hope Doman doesn't press the issue with a "mobile" quarterback as he was himself an option QB.

    In contrast, Sarkesian paid his dues before he because an offensive coordinator at USC. He was first a quarterbacks coach for a junior college, then offensive assistant for two years at USC. Went to the raiders as a QB coach for one year, then returned back to USC as assistant head coach. 2007 was in the running for the head coach, when he stayed as asst head coach, then moved to the off. coordinator.

    What does Doman have that qualifies him as the off. coordinator? Does he really know how to work with quarterbacks? How long has he been a quarterbacks coach?

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    the visual I'll remember most is Jake ducking for cover against Utah and fumbling the ball into the end zone, it looked like a little brother flinching when his big brother pretended he was going to his him, hahahah, thanks for that one Jake!

  • Dawg Coach SAMMAMISH, WA
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    UW has Price, Montana and incoming Mercer Island QB, so they are set for years to come. WSU has a talented freshmen in Holladay, so it won't be easy to be the starter in either of those schools. Jake is going to find increased competition in any of the top universities. Wishing him the best, but the challenge is going to be greater outside than competing in Provo. Tough Road going forward for Jake.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Sorry BYU Alumni and Fans but this current problem of departure starts with your Coaching Staff and to be honest Doman isn't exactly what Dick Harmon made him out to be a year ago.

    For the Nelson Family, thank you for showing your maturity level! But nothing surprises me if it's coming out of BYU!! So many fans claim that they're reverent and respectful, I beg to differ!!

    Good luck to Heaps and I would be thrilled to see him land somewhere that he will have to face BYU and under the right Coach, he'll run up the score.........ohhhh the score!

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 5:30 a.m.

    I heard a fan in section K turned to another fan and said, "Good afternoon" but I don't know if it is true or not.

  • North Summit 05 Coalville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 3:34 a.m.

    Why blame Riley for Jakes lack of team leadership just look at the offensive production when Jake was the starter how many games were won and lost now compare that to when Riley was the starter Jake would have been better off staying with the Y in my opinion but what Jake has to learn is he is not above any other team member sure he could be a great qb but from what we have seen here at Byu he is very unwilling to do whats best for the team from what I have seen is he has two Wide outs that he mainly throws to Hoffman and Apo Riley spreads the field and uses his whole arsenal I have nothing against Jake but he needs to realize he will get no where with the attitude that he doesnt have to earn his spot and there is no reason to blame Doman for this he man'd up and said he messed up early on and fixed the offense and look how many points and yards the O has produced so far and he would have tweaked the O to fit Jake just like he did for Riley

  • Fan from Cal MORGAN HILL, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    Point 4: For those who think BYU should drop football and concentrate on academics and other activities consistent with their mission, you truly don't understand the unbelievable power of successful sports teams and all-star BYU alums in fulfilling BYU and the sponsoring church's mission. Just like Vocal Point on The Sing Off, you can't buy positive press like that. Jimmer, Lavell, Ainge, Dave Rose, and all the others are great stories that allow people around the world to ask more about BYU and the church. Having a successful football or basketball team IS fulfilling the mission of the school.

  • Fan from Cal MORGAN HILL, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:12 a.m.

    Point 1: Brandon Doman has done a mediocre job at best as offensive coordinator and did not have his act together from the start this season. He is going to be schooled by other experienced offensive coordinators for some time to come. That certainly had an impact on how effective Heaps was this year.
    Point 2: Heaps should have red-shirted a full year up front and then should have been brought on more slowly, but he apparently doesn't have the maturity to understand that given his decision to bail and start over somewhere else.
    Point 3: Heaps has the strongest arm I've ever seen at BYU, as evidenced by how quickly and how high the ball sails over his receiver's head on a regular basis. If he was completing passes to open receivers when he had the chance, he would still be the starting quarterback.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    #1 SLC fan:

    Quit inferring that the BYU football program should be dropped...

    I think you're just a Ute who doesn't like to see BYU succeed.

  • CalmDown Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    Good luck to you, young Mr. Heaps. You'll need a dose of it as there will certainly be no easy road ahead.

    Regarding the Nelson incident: If there is any truth to it at all, who amongst any of you have not let slip some errant comment that, no sooner having crossed your lips, you would not give anything to gather back. Also, I have read much, much worse and more harsh and pointed commentary than "why aren't you cheering now?" toward both the Nelson family and Riley individually from the mission recruiting scene to present. Bottom line, everyone needs to be a little more forgiving and compassionate, everyone. This is just a game, after all.

  • manutd Milford, CT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:43 p.m.

    i have always been a fan of harmon even while many on these forums ridicule him.

    but i don't understand the motive for including speculative accusations that do nothing but damage byu, heaps, and nelson.

    i thought harmon was above this. anything for ratings?

  • CaliforniaCougar Lake Elsinore, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    The truth is ... Riley performed. Heaps did not.

    I really, really wanted Heaps to be the guy.

    But, if you can't hit your receivers, then you cannot remain as the guy.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    I would never advise anyone to play QB at BYU. There is sooo much politics beyond the normal team politics that goes on there. Kid just chose the wrong school for his development.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Hi class fanbase we have.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:38 p.m.

    Were parts of this article removed? Stay classy dnews, stay classy.

  • Portland Beavers SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:28 p.m.


    Better being 6th in the PAC-12, then in nothing place of nothing.

  • barefeet KENT, WA
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    I'm am sooooooooooo happy Heaps left BYU. He was not a good quaterback. A very selfish, over-rated individual and thinks he is the best. My hope is that my Washington Huskies won't take him. That will be a big mistake for coach Sarkisian. In previous comments I stated that getting rid of Heaps, Doman and Mendenhall will help the Y become better. I like Nelson and now hope Doman and Mendenhall will follow Heaps out of the Y.

  • Oregon Ute Hermiston, OR
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    To: Maryland Cougar,
    No doubt that luck plays a part in all games. My point was that Riley Nelson gave life to the cougs but he didn't win the game for them, that was the luck of the bounce...providence...divine intervention..whatever you want to call it. My biggest issue is that I believe a new offensive coordinator, lack of patience, poor qb coaching and play calling lead to this decision. I saw it happen with the Utes when they did the same thing to a qb from Montana...can't remember his name, but he became second string and ended up in the NFL as a backup qb. I think Heaps could have done very well at the Y if all parties involved had a little more patience. If Heaps starts during the weak schedule that BYU had the last 2/3's of the season BYU still wins those games. It didn't matter that it was Nelson. We saw that Nelson is a fair D1 qb by his performance against the only decent team he played against, TCU. He was terrible in that game. Patience is the answer, something cougar fan doesn't have.

  • trollhunter2 HERRIMAN, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    It's obvious that it takes two to tango -#1 so let's just all agree that the coaches miss handled Heaps from the get go, they should have red shirted the kid from day one, this year would actually be his redshirt freshman year and heaps wouldn't be leaving the program. #2 Heaps showed that he could beat the weaker teams but struggled mightily in the big games, but to his credit which this is on the coaching staff, Doman is a new O' coordinator he didnt know what he was doing the 1st 5 weeks of course the team struggled, So did he!
    But this does not excuse Heaps from being a complete mental migit out there. I remember Max Hall cheap shotting stephenson sylvester after throwing a pick, what does heaps do? runs away from the Ol' Miss safety running down the sidelines after picking him off, his body language looked like he was the one carrying the ball not wanting to get hit. The fact is Heaps was too young to have expected so much and Mendenhall should have known better. Heaps should be the QB in 2013 & 2014 when we field our best teams now he's gone.

  • Salemite Salem, Ut
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    I for one am glad the season is over. There was enough drama and heart-ache this season to last more than one life-time. The real issue is not Jake, a BCS bowl game or even the embarrassing loss to Utah. The issue is next November. If the athletic department at BYU puts together another mushy schedule like they did this for this season, then the program is in trouble.

  • Mmars01 Lehi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    @ Menace,

    Wait, sorry, my bad, tied for 6th place.

  • Mmars01 Lehi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:35 p.m.


    "This line is strange:

    "Utah has never been an option."

    This isn't about Utah, it's about BYU. Why the obsession with Utah to bring them up in an article that has zero to do with them? Very Little Brother of Cougar fan."

    Seriously? This point was first mentioned by 1320 KFAN dj's, a Gordon Monson article, and possibly other media as a possible option if Heaps transferred way back before he actually notified anyone he was. The reason they brought this up was because Hayes was starring for the u while beating collegiate giants such as Washington St. or Oregon St. or powerhouse AZ. It didn't come from a cougar fan. Get off your fifth place PAC 12 high horse and give it a rest.

  • Band of Sisters RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:14 p.m.

    Fans with Aggie blood can sometimes be pretty inconsiderate.

  • 4BS St George, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    To: PaulMax @ 6:56 pm

    That was the most ludicrous statement I have read on any of these posts. To blame Doman and Nelson's for ruining Jake's career is an absolute joke. Wow, just amazing what goes on in mind of the typical Ute troll.

  • Robroy Murray, utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Speaking of unforgiving fans I sure heard alot of boo-birds up at RES during the Colorado debacle. I guess the FUSS er MUSS really are special.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    @ Veritas
    " I have no reason to doubt Mrs. Heap's claim, and have found no reason not to believe that classless behavior could seep down from Logan, at least based upon the body of work posted from the "Riley Fanbase" represented in this column.

    Personally, I would rather Riley stayed at USU, than bring the "Classless Crew" with him."

    Seriously, why all the hate on people from Logan? I seriously doubt you know the Nelson family at all, but yet you project your disdain for "Loganites" to the Nelson family. In case you haven't noticed, there are some classless fans at every university--including BYU.

    Riley Nelson competed and won the starting position as QB. Yet many of the irrational Heaps fans blame Nelson for Jake's decision to leave. Do you really expect Riley to just lie down and say, " No, Coach, Jake has aspirations to go to the NFL and I don't want to stand in his way?" Come on, get real.

    I really wish Heaps would stay. There is no question he has potential. But I have to agree with the coaches' decision--right now, Nelson at QB is what is best for the team.

  • MenaceToSociety Draper, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    This line is strange:

    "Utah has never been an option."

    This isn't about Utah, it's about BYU. Why the obsession with Utah to bring them up in an article that has zero to do with them? Very Little Brother of Cougar fan.

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Wow, Dick and I agree for once! He's better off staying in the program! My thoughts are this, he is throwing a potential NFL career OUT THE WINDOW, by transferring!!! Chances are you won't hear his name again, except as a back-up! He is making a HUGE MISTAKE, and Brandon could and would TWEEK things to fit him in TWO YEARS after a redshirt year. However it is HIS LOSS, not our's, and that is the sadest thing about it! Going to play at South Carolina would be a huge mistake, his confidence will be shattered after Mr. Heisman Coach gets through ripping him, benching him, putting him back in, and playing with his mind! USC, he'll sit the bench with the deep recruiting they have, however it might be a good place for him? I'd go to a Run and Shoot program like SMU and there he could flourish I think? Whatever he does, I wish him well, and pray he keeps his Testamony, The QB Mill at BYU can be very tough. As for the Nelson Family Fans who "Taunted" Heap's bride? SHAME ON THEM!!! Riley Is A Class Act, EMULATE HIM!!!

  • maryland cougar Pikesville, MD
    Dec. 6, 2011 1:13 p.m.

    at orgeon ute how many tds were off of ute helmets 2 I believe and you want to talk about lucky I support both but it goes both ways

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    I believe that if Jake would have been patient, and developed in the system and learned the system he could have become a good quarterback, because he has a great arm and is technically excellent. But physical talent and technical superiority are not the only variables that leads to greatness. The competitive fire that Nelson has is what makes him superior to Heaps, even though Jake is superior mechanically and physically superior.

    Some would like to blame Jake's lack of success on the Brandon Doman. I believe that Brandon through his conservative play calling has been very careful to not expose Jake to situations where he might fail. When he set him up to throw long passes, which would seem to be an obvious strength for Jake, very seldom did he and his receivers make a connection.

    But truth be told, time after time, Jake made bad decisions, overthrew receivers, rifled passes that should have been finessed in, stared down potential receivers, and generally failed to move the offense in crucial situations. I don't blame the coaches for benching Jake for Riley. But just because he was benched, doesn't mean he should have quit.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:42 p.m.

    The alleged incident between Heaps' wife and Nelson's relatives is very telling. It shows that Heaps was never really about the "team." And most of us, who watched him play, suspected as much. If any other schools want such a player and can instill an attitude of team first, more power to them.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Who cares if Jake Heaps leaves, does it really matter?

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    Idaho Falls, ID
    As Amorphous so eloquently stated, there are SEVERAL people posting here that can attest that the entire Nelson family (except Riley) were at a high school game."

    Serious, the entire Nelson family?

    That claim has got to be harder to document than what Mr. Harmon claimed. So, LoganBlu, you can account for his cousins, and extended family? I have no reason to doubt Mrs. Heap's claim, and have found no reason not to believe that classless behavior could seep down from Logan, at least based upon the body of work posted from the "Riley Fanbase" represented in this column.

    Personally, I would rather Riley stayed at USU, than bring the "Classless Crew" with him.

    If you feel the need to disrespect a young lady, man up, admit it, and stop with the spin.

  • Cougar Passion Riverton, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    I wonder if Jake would have stayed until the end of the regular season (and then announce his departure immediately after) if the season finale had been a game at Wyoming instead of Hawai'i. Curious that he was so certain of his decision and clearly without the commitment to help the team to the end for the bowl game. If his heart was no longer in it, he could have foregone that trip to devote even more attention to his academics. Out of curiosity, I have heard of immediately family members traveling with the team to games. Are they paid for as well?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    cjf | 8:49 a.m. Dec. 6, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Nelson's family (not his mom and dad) were observed yelling down at Brooke...
    In tears, Brooke witnessed the victory but never attended another BYU game."


    BYU fans are ruthless! We were only able to make Max Hall cry.

  • brs27 Beaver, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    I'm disappointed, I really hoped to see Jake push himself and the University to success. I only wish the best for him. That being said, his decision to transfer is puzzling. Ostensibly he doesn't want to red-shirt, but by transferring he is doing just that. As I see it there can only be two possible reasons for leaving: A)He no longer has confidence in the coaches or in his ability to receive their confidence, or B)He doesn't think he can compete with the incoming talent. Of those two scenarios it is impossible to believe that a guy like Heaps doubts his own ability to compete, so I have to assume that he has lost confidence in the coaches to either develop his talent or give him a fair shake. IMHO un-true on both counts, but he has a better seat than I do, I'll defer to his judgement. All that being said, a lot has been made of BYU blowing this opportunity. Possibly, but it's probably at least equally likely that another factor is true. An individual's talent quite often doesn't transfer between levels of play; see Ben Olsen and Ryan Leaf as examples.

  • Snodgrass SLC, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    I don't see a lot of people mad that jake is leaving.

    I like most say, Good Luck Jake.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    As Amorphous so eloquently stated, there are SEVERAL people posting here that can attest that the entire Nelson family (except Riley) were at a high school game. Another poster sitting right behind Mrs Heaps the whole game claims no such thing was said to her. So yeah, there is a lot of reason to doubt Dick's account.

    My point is what does Dick accomplish by printing that snippet, even if he thought it were true? Unless he personally witnessed it, it is very inflammatory and could land him in serious hot water.

    Dec. 6, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    A little inconspicuous comparison has been overlooked amid the tidal wave of analysis, commentary and discussion that have washed over the newsprint, airwaves and internet blogs over the past 24 hours. It is this:

    Riley as a high schooler made, and later as a collegian broke, a commitment of honor to play for a school (Utah State), just like Jake did to BYU.

    It's a game people. Just a game. Save your pious judgments of this player or that player or this parent, or that coach, for matters of consequence, like the federal debt, world peace or something.

  • alleYcat BATAVIA, IL
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    So.....how about that placekicker?

  • Carson Provo, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    Will Dick Harmon step up to the plate and clear things up, or will he just continue to be BYU's number one cheerleader?

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    What makes anyone think Heaps could march right over to Washington and unseat Joe Montana, Jr.??

  • Parkite1 Park City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    Hope he grows up and both he and his wife learn to handle the pressure! If he does perform in college and makes it to the nfl he better not go to Philly or someplace where fans have little patience and high expectations or his career will be short-lived. Blue chip, big ego, average qb at executing, poor leader and a huge disappointment pretty much sums it up in a nutshell!

  • Disgruntled Nephi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    "One big part of Heaps' decision is BYU's change in philosophy since he was recruited. Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman likes a mobile quarterback as shown by the energy brought by Nelson."

    Really Dick? Is that why Heaps was the starter at the start of the season? Maybe Doman and the coaches just like a qb that produces.

    Here is a snippet form an article titled "No qb controversy this year as cougars know who will lead them into fall camp"

    "A year ago, two completely different quarterbacks ran an offense that required tailoring to each of their respective talents, trained by splitting time. Today it is one offense and one set of skills using all the time to polish BYU's arsenal, timing and execution." Guess who wrote that? Yup, Dick Harmon. Looks to me like according to Dick BYU changed the offense to tailor to Heaps' skills. The change to Nelson came when Heaps just wasn't getting the job done. Let's not blame the transfer on a change of philosophy shall we?

    Dec. 6, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    This Heaps-Nelson thing has been way over-analyzed. See-saw battles for the starting position go on all the time for all 22 offensive and defensive positions - plus special teams kicking, receiving, kicker, punter, etc., in football. One guy achieves the starting position the first part of the season; then another guy overtakes him and becomes the starter. It happens all the time. Coaches yank poor-pefroming starters and put in the 2nd string guy game after game all over the country. What is the big deal? Jake earned the starter spot start of the year: no controversy. Jake plays poorly in Utah State game, so poorly that it was universally agreed that Nelson had to go in. Nelson rescued the game. Nelson the former 2nd stringer wins the starter position. This would not be news for any other position struggle. That's all that happened here. The rest is speculation. Why Jake could not hack this reality of college football, is of little consequence. He could not hack it; end of story. Nelson has the job unless and until he performs poorly enough to warrant putting the next guy. The rest is over-analysis

  • Amorphous Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    See what you did here, Dick?

    Look at all the silly, blind comments from people who apparently either can't read or just more comfortable believing your unsubstantiated rumor than witnesses as to the Nelson family whereabouts during this game. The Nelsons are now villains because you asserted they were.


  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    Most of the 126 posts here this morning and yesterday afternoon are F+ work.... Come on people! Surely you are better than your ludicrous rants prove you to be.... Then, maybe you aren't... Afterall, most of you do cheer for the U and others may as well since you are as valuable to the Cougars as a hole in a bag is to the contents trying to be stored within.

  • byufootballrocks Herndon, VA
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    I was very sad to hear the news. I really like Jake Heaps both as a person and a player, and believe he had the potential to be one of the best ever at BYU.

    BYU's coaching staff has already made it's mind up about what it "wants to be when it grows up." It wants a mobile quarterback who can run. It wants an even balance between running and passing. They believe in running to open up the pass - the opposite of BYU's tradition.

    This is not the BYU-of-old, Pass-U, the exciting offense where we passed all the time, and used the pass to open up the run. The situation is what it is, and those of us who wish our offense were more like Mike Leach's (and he based his pass-happy program off of LaVell Edward's scheme) or the BYU-of-old simply need to get over it.

    Footnote: We gave Jake "three yards and a cloud of dust" and "dink and dunk" playcalling in the first half of the Texas game, and particulary in the red zone, and then who took the blame for the loss? Not the playcallers.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Veritas Aequitas, Maybe you should look into Nelson a little bit and realize he's going to be a doctor. Chevron? Really? Is that where you get your colonoscopies done? He's at least worked his tail off in the classroom without complaining when he didn't start.

  • sportsfan21 OREM, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:48 a.m.

    An earlier comment stated that Heaps will be successful wherever he goes and he will enjoy an NFL career while "Nelson enjoys selling cell phones in Provo." I thought I should point out that Nelson is in several of my O Chem and Biology classes and will be applying to medical school at the end of the school year. Wherever he ends up, he won't be selling cell phones.

  • Amorphous Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:45 a.m.


    You selectively single out idablu's comment and ask for proof? The Nelson's, and any family remotely close to them were ALL in Logan that night, as has been pointed out copiously in many comments that would substantiate idablu's assertion.

    Ignoring all the relevant comments regarding the Nelsons? That's denial!

  • JimBob Highland, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    What I don't understand is why other players wouldn't play for Heaps because he didn't treat them the way they wanted to be treated. I thought it was the responsibility of any player on the team, especially those on scholarship, to play as hard as they can in every circumstance. I would like to know why Bronco would tolerate such an attitude in the other players? I don't get it. They should have been playing hard no matter who the quarteback was.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    "Dick Harmon:

    It sounds to me like the accusation against the Nelson family is not going to hold water."

    Where's your proof, idablu? Again, when Brooke Heaps says it, it's a lie, when Max Hall says it, it needs no substantiation.

    That's denial.

  • Cache Valley1 Logan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    It matters because if it isn't true it shouldn't be reported. Riley's family was at the Logan/Sky View game where their other two sons were starters. Riley wasn't even expected to play in the USU/BYU game.

    It seems that there is a history of BYU fans, and in particular BYU spouses, who are a little too paranoid to what goes on in stadiums.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    I actually think Heaps will end up at Eastern Washington in a high flying and innovative offense. At the lower subdivision he wouldn't have to sit out a year either. He would also be closer to family.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    What does it matter where Riley's parents were?

    I believe the story stated "members of Nelson's family (not his mom and dad) were observed yelling down at Brooke, "Why aren't you cheering now?"

    The bottom line, Brooke knows what she knows, and as his wife, is a major part of his decision making now.

    Doman not speaking to Jake for 2 months. The kid is 5 years older than my 15 year old daughter! Sounds like Doman is a pretty solid mentor.

    Good luck Jake. I'm sure many of us will be following you somewhere in the pros if Bronco is right, and Riley's family will be cheering his progress at Chevron or some wireless provider in a few years.

    Classless way to treat a kid that committed to BYU.

  • Justice13 OREM, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:04 a.m.

    I think something which was overlooked by Dick Harmon in his article, and which would have made it much more plausible, is that just possibly Mrs. Heaps was upset by the chants of the entire crowd--not denigrating her husband, but excited about what was occurring on the field once Riley Nelson entered the game. It's easy to place blame, even where it does not belong, in order to justify hurt feelings. Mr. Harmon should have been more responsible in his reporting, and remembered a little more accurately the atmosphere in Cougar Stadium that night in late September. Instead, he chose to try to sully a respectable family's reputation in order to write a sensational article.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    So basically, it's the fault of everyone else BUT Jake Heaps?

    Jake Heaps has no responsibility whatsoever.

    This is a fun game! If he was a success, it would be because he was so great.

    But since he's stunk, it's Bronco's, Doman's, his teammates's, and even the fans's fault.

  • Golfhack20 West Jordan, Ut
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    I don't ever want to pile on someone who is down. The only discouraging thing for me is when Nelson was playing QB after Heaps was benched. Riley was going out of bounds and got hit downstairs. He was down on the sideline for a second. Trainers came over and the look on Heaps face was so happy and giddy to get in the game. Look I know athletes are 1 play away from going down but to be happy and giddy when a fellow teammate goes down shows a lot about your character. Yes he is in the game and yes he can be happy but not at the cost of a teammate. Bronco ended up calling timeout and Jake never went in anyway. Jake went back to pouting on the sidelines. No one can say that BYU doesn't play with more heart or pride than when Riley is in with his team. His leadership is contagious. Just wish Heaps could have learned that!! Good Luck Jake! as a Utah fan I wish you and your family well!!

  • Cougar Cindy Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    As a true blue fan I read Harmon's column regularly, and usually with pleasure, but this is troubling to me that he, first of all, reports the accusation against Nelson's "family (not his parents)" of deriding Brooke Heaps (are we talking about little brothers, Dick? Uncles? Aunts? Cousins? Grandparents?) If you're going to report it, better to be sspecific, so the accused can make their defense.

    Secondly, the report has been contradicted multiple times in these boards. Is there no clarification forthcoming? Was Brooke Heaps brought to tears by teenage boys' taunts? I realize she's probably still a teenager herself, or just barely out of her teens, so it's hard for her to have perspective. But if the Heaps family is BCS/NFL bound, she will need a thicker skin. It's a tough field out there. BYU fans should be among the best fans, and i wish they were. But no one can accuse them of being among the worst.

    When we fail, if we have in this case, let's be fair and give details, not hints and innuendo.

  • mohrman Payson, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    part 2:
    Riley Nelson is older and has been through his own controversy and regardless of whether he was lucky vs USU, the team changed when he went in. Yes he has faults but all quarterbacks do but he brings enthusiasm and leadership to the team...you can see he has earned the respect and even with passing, he has spread the ball around despite having his go to guys. He reminds me of Tebow, lots of criticism for his mechanics and blah blah blah, but he loves the game and despite the criticism, leads the team to win...but wait the Denver defense is winning those games...even if that is true, they changed the way they played when Tebow became the QB. This is the same for Nelson. Why blame anyone when a leader steps up and the whole team tries harder. I wish we could just want the best for all the players and coaches instead of trying to dwell on what we don't know. Just enjoy the moments and then cheer again the next year and the next, that is what a fan does. A true fan enjoys and supports and builds the team!

  • mohrman Payson, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    Not all things work out like we want. Ben Olsen needed to change as many athletes do. There will be a team that needs Jake's talents and BYU will move on with their backlog of quarterbacks. No need to rip on either side. It must have been hard for Jake these past two years and perhaps he was somewhat shell shocked in earlier games. It seems to me there was a Covey qb that also was shell shocked that made way for Ty Detmer to move forward. Things happen and one hopes that the player can continue to grow. As for Bronco, what a good job he does and why rip on him for comments he makes about how he likes the grit and determination in Riley Nelson. I think with all the media attention, he was forced to hand the keys to Jake, ready or not. I think though that when Jake was benched, he had an opportunity to see how a QB can motivate a team just like Jake did in High School.

  • Skippy West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Anyone who is just reading this article better hurry and print it out so you can understand all the changes that have been made by Dick since it was first put online! Otherwise, you will not understand all the comments on this page.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:17 a.m.


    Wow I guess you do not fallow The Logan Grizz very close at all. You are from Logan, all you need to do to obtain facts about the presents of the Nelson family is simply ask your fellow Logan High fans if the Nelson attended the Grizz vs. Bobcat game.

    Verify before you vilify, advice Dick needs to heed.

  • BobbyW SLC, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    Any good legitimate Newspaper reporter can back up their story with sources and facts.

    Dick Harmon has changed his story on line at least 3 times.

    Is this a Newspaper or an internet rumor rag.

    Dick Harmon, What are Brittney and Paris up to?

  • UncleArtie Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Good luck to Jake; and thanks for your efforts to save the 2010 season.

    It's unfortunate the Cougs did not have a junior or senior QB ready to start in 2010 and they had to throw Jake to the wolves; but maybe the opportunity to start early is a factor that attracted him.

    I've had opportunity to do a little youth sports coaching in my life, often the most difficult people to deal with are the parents. I have great respect for BYU sports coaching staffs acrosss the board and for the administrators who select those coaches.

    Unfortunately, this situation has a divorce-type flavor. There's blaming ,accusation, hearsay, etc. some of it valid, some of it not valid. It's best to give it up, move on, and trust that things will work out as they should. Pray for healing.

    And good luck to Riley in the bowl game and in leading the Cougs to a great season in 2012.

  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    "Best line of the article "Utah was never an option". The Utes should get used to that phrase."

    That's because players who feel they are entitled to respect they don't earn won't make one day at Utah. Jake probably knows that.

  • Amorphous Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    To write about Nelson's family supposedly yelling anything to anyone is journalistic irresponsibility! Even if such comments were made, how would anyone know they were directed at Heaps' wife?
    Nice, Dick!

  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    "Jake's wife Brooke watched her husband get benched as BYU trailed late against Utah State. As his replacement Riley Nelson sparked a Cougar comeback, several rows behind her, members of Nelson's family (not his mom and dad) were observed yelling down at Brooke, "Why aren't you cheering now?"

    In tears, Brooke witnessed the victory but never attended another BYU game."


    Wow. Classless. Simply classless.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    If someone heckled Heaps' wife, that's pretty low. Has anyone verified that it truly happened? If not, it sounds like Max Hall's "claim" about his family getting beer poured on them at Rice Eccles. Just like Hall claimed the same thing happened at Arizona when he was a freshman at ASU. Nice sound bites, but no collaborative proof.

  • suzcnoor Logan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:43 a.m.

    As someone who is familiar with the 'Nelson family'. I have a very difficult time buying in to the fact that they would yell down at Heaps' wife in such a derogatory and demeaning fashion.
    Shame on you for feeling the need to add in such an inflammatory statement.
    You sound like a rag mag with that.

  • DBitt Homer, AK
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    For those of you accusing Jake Heaps of being a Prima Donna, I would like to point out that through this entire episode he has never said a bad word about anyone in the BYU program and has been supportive of his coaches and team. He has taken responsibility for his shortcomings and when called upon after being benched played well. That is not what Prima Donnas do. You cannot blame him for wanting to get a new start. When things go bad, everyone blames the QB, even though the type of offense the Cougars started the year out with depended upon a run game to work. If anyone happened to be paying attention, the blue chip line and running backs could not get out of their own way. Pretty tough for a play action passing game to work when there is no threat of the running game. Yet the coaches gave up on the sophomore QB. I have two daughters attending the Y. I hope they never have to endure the kind of treatment Jake Heaps and his young wife have had to endure. If they do, I hope they show as much class. Good Luck Jake!

  • JohnsonR SLC, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:29 a.m.

    Big time Blue Chip High School recruits fail in big time college football all the time. Hundreds every year dont make the grade it is very common. Heaps is just another one.
    Hes just not that good.
    Im not being mean. Its just the facts.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    I bet the very BYU fans that are saying that the alleged classless taunts from Nelson's family are completely false and unsubstantiated are most likely the very fans that believe that Max Hall's allegations about Utah fans were 100% true.

  • Chad S Derby, KS
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    It's sad that anyone would disparage the wife of a player in public at a game, and if that anecdote is true then it's probably a big reason why Heaps would transfer. I wouldn't want my wife to be publicly humiliated like that either.

    BYU fans can be brutal to their own. This his not something to be proud of. I hope Heaps finds success somewhere he can be happy.

    Go Cougs!

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    I wish Heaps could have blossomed at the Y.

    Quarterback is a tough position and he will be questioned wherever he goes unless he is a Heisman candidate.

    I hope he can make it somewhere else and hope to see him in the NFL someday. I also hope Taysom Hill is as good as advertised.

    Go Cougars!

  • Oregon Ute Hermiston, OR
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    1. Everyone got on the Riley Nelson bandwaggon after the Utah State game. That game was won by a deflected Nelson pass into the arms of a Y receiver...luck not Riley.

    2. Heaps played the tough part of the schedule with a new offensive coordinator who self admittedly tried to do too much with the offense when he came on. If Heaps plays the easy part of the schedule the results for the Y are the same. Nelson showed what he does against good or decent competition during the TCU game, he was terrible. Heaps ended up the scapegoat for a new offensive coordinator who didn't know what he was doing during the tough part of the schedule. Patience from the fans and the coaches would have served Heaps and BYU better. Heaps will go on to play with an OC who knows how to handle his abilities. In the end, I believe, this will be a huge BYU loss.

  • wattsde Sandy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    DBits was spot on about the taunting on Brook which was a no no. Love your neighbor.

    Jake, don't go to SEC country, it will be a mistake which they will run you over.

    I am not a big usc but they will protect you at the line. Maybe Washington will forgive you and will pick you up.

    Lastly, don't talk about NC stuff, don't be scare and be a robot. Start learning to work hard like out at a farm a military boot camp and good luck along with your young family. Merry Christmas.

  • Texas Coog Fan Provo, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    I find it interesting that so many in the media view Jake's leaving as a coaching problem. How quick many are to forget that Jake rarely showed up for summer work-outs. How quickly we forget that Jake played completely gutless. I lost all respect for him as a player when he threw the pick-6 at Ole Miss, and actually ran away from the player who interecepted the errant pass that he threw. All Jake had to do was make a little contact with that player, and he would have been tackled. At the Utah game, it was very clear that Jake was afraid to take a hit--almost curling up in the fetal position when defense players came towards him. How quickly we forget that Jake never really learned to be a quarterback. He continually locked into one receiver, and whether in double or triple coverage, he would try to zing the ball in there no matter what. How quickly we forget that just because a young man was a stand out in High School does't mean he will make it in College. Jake doesn't have the work ethic or moxy to play at this level.

  • RobertC SLC, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Amazing how few people understand Football.

    Bottom line. Jake could not and Did Not perform on the field.

    Jake, Just like everyone kid on the field if you don't perform in games you get benched.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    I'd like to know how Brooke knows for sure that it was Riley's family who were taunting her. Riley's parents weren't doing it. Riley has little brothers and they might have behaved badly. However, I'm not sure if it is possible to know for sure where it was coming from.

    I think if Jake had been a little more mature, he might have decided to stay and work through his problems. Going somewhere else won't make him any more mature, more experienced or able to take the pressure. He should have redshirted and worked through it. They would have helped him through it.

    I wish him well, but he's not necessarily going to solve his problems by going somewhere else.

    Dec. 6, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    The # 1 quarterback recruit in the nation two years ago and BYU couldn't make it work. Jake Heaps is no different than the likes of Ty Detmer, Mark Wilson, Jim McMahon, Gifford Nielsen, on and on and on who couldn't run or move but were great quarterbacks. UMMMM! Maybe a offensive coordinator needs a little training. Once a quarterback at BYU does not mean he has enough experience to be a Offensive coordinator. The system must fit the quarterback not the quarterback fitting the system. Not all QB's have the same talent. Adjust or you might get beat by Idaho State.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    Anyone that yelled at Heap's wife or any other family member is classless. I wish Jack well, and hope he has great success.

  • Festus riverton, utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    What blows my mind about the BYU haters that post here, is that they actually think they play in a good league. The south div of the PAC 12 is no better that the teams BYU has played this year. The Utes have played in more BCS games already than they will play in in the naxt 20 years. What has BCS membership meant to WSU or Colorado. Nothing. So get over yourselves BYU haters. You are on a downward spiral.
    Oh, by the way, I hope Jake does well whereever he ends up. I will be a fan for as long as he plays, on all levels.

  • Cache Valley1 Logan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:42 a.m.

    Dick, back up your comments. Logan High School had a football game the night of the USU/BYU game. It would make sense that the majority of the Nelson family (if not all) were at the Logan game supporting their other son who was starting in that game. Riley was a back-up in the USU game with little chance to play. What Nelson's were at the BYU game? Doesn't make sense. Shame on you for telling that story becase it can't be true.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:34 a.m.

    QB's who found greener pastures with different coaches and schemes:

    Troy Aikman -- Oklahoma to UCLA -- College HOF, 3 Super Bowl victories, NFL HOF
    Steve Young -- Tampa Bay to San Francisco, Super Bowl MVP, 2-Time NFL MVP, NFL HOF
    Jim Plunkett -- Patriots to 49ers to Raiders, Heisman, 2 Super Bowl Victories with Raiders
    Alex Smith -- OC, OC, OC, OC, OC, OC, Harbaugh, just clinched Division Championship

    Good luck, Jake Heaps. Good Luck, BYU

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:24 a.m.

    What's up with Harmon bagging on Riley's family? If it were true, or even important, it sure wasn't developed at all. A few sentences to create drama. Harmon might just have attention issues. Squirril!!

    Good luck Riley. Good luck Jake.

  • SportzFan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:18 a.m.

    Reading COMPREHENSION -- it is fundamental, folks:

    "As his replacement Riley Nelson sparked a Cougar comeback, several rows behind her, members of Nelson's family (NOT HIS MOM AND DAD) were observed yelling down at Brooke, "Why aren't you cheering now?"

    Why do I find this both troubling and believable. IF this happened, and I think it did, it would've happened in the same section other player's family/friends were sitting in. Someone should've shut them up, other should've supported Heap's wife. It isn't anti-team to be disappointed for your husband.

    Believable? Many years ago another Cougar QB was struggling and got sacked pretty hard. A fan not far from me yelled, "I hope he's hurt." Really? You hope someone, anyone is hurt? I yelled back, "What if that was your son?" and the fans around yelled at ME. I, a Cougar fan, am never surprised when a Cougar fan -- or fan of any other school -- lacks class.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:13 a.m.

    I agree with Harmon's last idea. Heaps has underestimated how hard it's going to be to get started in a new place. Heaps needs to take some responsibility for his poor performance this year. He was the one pressing, he's the one who doesn't know how to relate to teamates, he's the one who couldn't move an offense, he's the one who would throw to Apo only.

    I wish him the best of luck, but he still has a lot of growing up to do.

  • S.Andrew Zaelit Deseret, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    This debacle was the fault of Bronco, the BYU culture (thank you Mr. Harmon for admitting that, and Heaps. Truthfully, Heaps should never have played this year. He should have left after his freshman year. BYU (and especially Bronco) was never fully invested in Heaps. Nelson has always been Bronco's first choice. Bronco allowed the locker room to dictate the direction of the program in absentia of the coach. I wish Heaps well. He needs to be in a place that can develop his skill set. Personally, I will not root for Nelson. He used his mission to further his own selfish football legacy and that disgusts me. Heaps conduct has been far more ethical. I hope Lark is as good as we all think because with Heaps leaving the team is going to need him. Hopefully Bronco will not turn on Lark, or allow the locker room to follow his lead as they did with Heaps. In the end, a clean break was the only solution. I doubt Bronco will even give it a second thought. He has preferred Nelson for over a year. Now he can admit it freely, openly. Heaps will be better off.

  • mtseatss Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:22 a.m.

    "Utah was never an option." True statement but classic Harmon spin. Utah's quarterback prospects for 2012 are very bright. Heaps is damaged goods, a prima donna - the antithesis of a tough Whitingham/Utah type of football player. Utah can only hope Heaps ends up at another PAC12 school as he executes submarine like countermeasures by fumbling the football away from himself in order to protect his mythical NFL contract. No thanks Jake, Utah's not remotely interested - best of luck.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:16 a.m.

    My thoughts:

    1. Jake came into the program with an ego, hence the press conference. Bronco should have gone with Nelson as starter last season and told Jake that players have to earn the right to start.

    2. Has a first-year OC, I think Doman should have focused solely on learning how to be an OC and let someone else handle the QB's.

    3. Despite any mistakes made by coaches, Jake was given the starting job with an offense built around him. Bottom line, if you can't hit your open receivers and your afraid to get hit, then you shouldn't be playing.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:51 a.m.

    i missed it where Heaps just won the national championship. When did this happen? He guaranteed a national championship while he played for byu....HA HA HA HA and the fan base actually believed it!

  • Magic Happens Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    Talk about exposure!

    Unfortunately for Heap's, his departure is a combination of assumptions, bad decisions, mismanagement, and arrogance. And there is enough blame to go around. But as in life, all responsibility ultimately rises to the top. In this case Mendenhall. Shots can be taken at Heaps, Doman, other teammates, etc., but the final responsibility for the team belongs to the head coach. In Heap's case, this has been a well documented comedy starting with last years two quarterback system. Mendenhall should have manned up and made a decision prior to last season and stuck with it. I don't pretend to be a coach, but rarely does a freshman QB have success. I suspect Mendenhall yielded to the pressure that accompanied the hype. I don't blame Heaps for quitting, because the cupboard looks well stocked for the future and he apparently isn't interested in competing for the job. And if Mr. Harmon is to be believed, a dubious assumption given the rebuttal posts about the Nelson family, this disconnect between player and coach has been a long term issue. I am sure there will be new articles that will now sing the praises of the unity of the program now that the one bad apple is gone. But really, how long can the facade be maintained? All players and coaches need to be clear on their rolls, expectations, and accountability. Otherwise this program will continue in its struggle.

    Go Utes!

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:37 a.m.

    Hope the Cougs can get themselves pulled together for the Bowl in Texas.

    Tulsa's Golden Hurricane are already licking their lips. They will love this distracting QB news.

    Today's Tulsa newspaper says, "Armed Forces Bowl Could be Similar to 2007 Slugfest, where the Golden Hurricane defeated BYU 55-47"

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:40 a.m.

    EdGrady | 11:12 p.m. Dec. 5, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Hey Steve14:
    "Riley Nelson singel-handedly gave the game to TCU with his ridiculous turnovers."

    Sorry, Ed, but you could just as easily say that Riley single handedly kept BYU as close as it was, because his constantly pushing the edge produced some pathetic mistakes but also some great football.

    Whereas the kicking game, in all aspects, inexplicably had no redeeming graces that night.

  • rlechten Laie, HI
    Dec. 6, 2011 2:20 a.m.

    Heaps seems like a class act and I couldn't be more hopeful for him and his wife. I found it interesting during the Utah State game, Nelson's hair was clearly out of standards and was permitted to play on national television. It makes me wonder about the kind of leadership Bronco is looking for? Riley couldn't lead by example on something as simple as a haircut. If quarterback is the most visible athletic role at BYU why would Bronco allow such flagrant disregard for the honor code after such HUGE exposure with Davies. I am not knocking Riley, I am just confused how Riley is considered the mature one by Bronco when he showed a shocking amount of immaturity by letting his hair grow out that much. It's not a big deal, but a guy aspiring to the most visible position on the team would seem to require enough maturity to at least be ready to reflect the honor code on TV. Match that with the report that Riley's family was heckling Heaps wife (not intentionally...of course). Something tells me that this might have to do more with charisma than maturity. Just a thought, not an accusation.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:25 a.m.

    Will the other two players that attributed their selection of BYU leave with Heaps? I doubt it as this not like when a Coach gets replaced. The questions comes as to how BYU wasted its opportunity with such a highly valued high school recruit. Will other recruits view BYU with disdain as they see how Heaps was treated as Riley was transfer player. There is no question BYU's offensive coordinator Doman differs from Anae and anyone thinking they were the same was wrong as their offensive schemes are different starting with role of the quarterback. Anae had a proven offensive record and was hired by Mendenhall. Doman was promoted by Mendenhall. Hopefully Mendenhall knows what he is doing as head coach as recruitment of blue chip high school players is tarnished as well as hiring of offensive coordinator. What other changes will happen with BYU football before next season is anyone's guess.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    BYU alum

    The Nelson family was not there, DJ plays qb for Logan High, Chase starts at safety and special teams, Mom and Dad and all the in laws are sitting watching the game in Logan High Stadium. Riley was not starting and the Logan High Grizzlies are 4A juggernauts carving up the Bobcats from Smithfield.

    No Nelson family member other then Riley attends BYU, and no body planned on going down for the game because Riley was not going to play.

    Heaps undermined himself with his inability to improve his game, no Nelson make believe heckler determined that.

    This witch hunt is pathetic.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:36 p.m.


    It's true. Nelson made some bad, costly decisions in the TCU game, but the special teams were equally culpable.
    Also you have to take into consideration that Nelson was able to move the ball up and down the field against TCU--something a BYU QB has been unable to do against TCU for the past 3 or 4 yrs.

    As a coach from a purely objective viewpoint, if you take into consideration his passing and offensive statistics, leadership traits, heart, toughness, and how well the team performs with him at the helm the choice is obvious--Nelson.
    Nelson probably won't be a "great" BYU QB, but he'll give you more wins than Heaps.

  • Arynen Midvale, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:28 p.m.


    Thanks for the insight and bringing reality back to squabbling anonymous self-proclaimed experts who weren't even there.

    Dec. 5, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    I don't know Jake Heaps and neither do the rest of you. I would bet that no one that has commented here has any first hand knowledge about how this came about or why. (Same as the regular fools that say BYU is dropping sports - oh how I wish you would take your dribble and go away).

    Here is what we do know:

    BYU is bigger than any one player. Bigger than any one coach and as time goes by new players will emerge and rise to the occasion while other drop passes and miss great opportunities. That's what the game is about.

    Jake had the job at Ole Miss. Never seen a QB move slower or more indecisive. He had chances at Texas. A win there and this season would be entirely different. Lost to Utah and losing to Utah State.

    It never appeared he had leadership quality. Maybe he did. Maybe he was an excellent leader and everyone else around him failed. No idea - but it does not appear that way.

    As for getting married at 20 and blowing off the summer it shows a certain maturity level. I'll let you all decide which way that goes.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    Hey Steve14:
    Riley Nelson singel-handedly gave the game to TCU with his ridiculous turnovers.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:06 p.m.

    Dick Harmon:

    It sounds to me like the accusation against the Nelson family is not going to hold water. Putting something like that in print, even if you think your source is reliable is a huge gamble. Now what you have done constitutes at best poor journalism, and at worst slander that could cost you your job and/or a major lawsuit.

    A little advice from a fan of most of your articles: Print a retraction ASAP and pull that paragraph from the printed edition. I am sure the Nelsons would be forgiving if you did that. Otherwise you're toast.

  • CougarClassic Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    @ Ed Grady that was a stupid comment!

  • Steve14 OREM, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    I love what Riley Nelson has done for BYU football. The kid is amazingly tough -- as exhibited by his outstanding performance in Hawaii three weeks after suffering cracked ribs and a partially collapsed lung. He is a winner as shown with his unbelievable performance in leading the Cougars to a come from behind victory against a good Aggie team. He is a great passer with the 7th highest quarterback rating (163.6) in the entire country (Heaps quarterback rating is 106th nationally). He is a great runner -- Nelson was BYU's third leading rusher for the season (only one yard behind Michael Alisa's season total). He is fun, how about that high five to the ref in the TCU game? Yet he is unassuming and self deprecating. Oh, and Riley has the best haircut on the team.

  • Tracy Hill OREM, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Jake has handled himself extremely well through what has doubtless been a difficult situation. While I am sad to see him leave, I certainly wish him well. Good luck, Jake!

    And as to Dick Harmon, I am disappointed he chose an anecdote which casts a negative light on the Nelson family, and to a lesser degree, Jake's wife. The episode, if indeed accurate, added nothing to the story and is hurtful to both parties. I expect a higher standard and more sensitivity from the Deseret News.

    At the end of the day, these are young men trying their very best to compete in a fish bowl with suffocating scrutiny and an army of critics waiting to pounce. Dick Harmon should not add to the challenges they face.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:43 p.m.


    SLC Sports Fan has been spamming the same mistruths for months. She doesn't have any sources other than her own unmitigated hatred of all things BYU.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:24 p.m.

    >For at least a month, Heaps has told some team members it didn't look like he'd be at the bowl game Dec. 30 in Dallas.

    That's a deal-breaker right there. Giving up before the season's even over. If Bronco knew, it's surprising that he didn't boot him from the team at that point.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:10 p.m.

    Is there anyway Doman can transfer and Heaps stay?

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    I blame a lot of this on ongoing media hype: Vai gave his two bits worth on Jake leaving, Then came Rock with his blather. Dick Harmon, you told him to go and now you are telling him he won't succeed wherever he goes. Blah, blah, blah.

    I watched him play every home game last year and some of this. Excellent throwing arm, but didn't exhibit any real leadership and/or passion on the field. He forfeited his summer of working and developing with teammates as a 20 year old to get married.

    I also think it is unfortunate for this reporter to tell a story in third person about a family putting down his wife without any concrete evidence. The Nelson family seem like nice people. How do you know it wasn't just somebody sitting by them?

    Good luck, Jake. We wish you well. I hope your find your perfect team. Sorry to hear that you have been planning this for so long. We were planning to have you stay and develop!

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    A few things:
    Is it possible that Nelson has other family members besides those who were in Logan on that Friday night?
    Is it possible that Jake and Brooke Heaps, and most of the S.L. media forgot to think in terms of the "team" concept instead of themselves? (I remind everyone that the media has agendas too, regardless of what they say to others).
    That said, I'm having a hard time believing that anyone said, "Why aren't you cheering now?" to Brooke Heaps. I was there that night and I know Brooke Heaps as I sit behind her, and I mean right behind her, and I didn't hear anything like that. Of course, I always buy items from the snack shack and could have missed it, though I was there during all game-time play.
    On a personal note, my mission felt like a mess, though I had several great experiences. I still think my first mission president did more harm than good. He believed in a Ninja God and I didn't. Hence, I have no problem with others choosing another path---and I have had six sons serve missions, with one waiting in the wings.
    Utah fans seem more miffed that Heaps has never considered the Utes, than the fact he is transferring.
    The Jake Heaps' story is one that preaches the need for success to come at a price. Success without a personal grueling price, isn't really success at all, rather its a shell waiting to be cracked, and it will easily be shattered.
    I am tired of all the Bronco Mendenhall hate, and now Brandon Doman. Mendenhall has been right about his team, especially a BYU team, all along....Pay a price, then you will win.
    I also think Brandon Doman learned something about Brandon Doman, mainly that he hates recruiting high school kids to BYU, rather than take the more mature approach of, "So, why should we give you a D-1 scholarship to play for BYU and what price are you willing to pay to be successful?"

  • Over the Top Rigby, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    With regard to the supposed-disparaging remarks from the Nelson family at the BYU/USU game, Dick Harmon needs to do publicly apologize to them. I also remember reading that they were in Cache Valley that night watching their younger sons (#12 and #19 - notice Riley's wrist band) play rather than in Provo. Dick Harmon needs to do better vetting of his sources.

    With regard to Jake's wife, too bad she couldn't enjoy the win. Maybe she doesn't know football is a team sport, either. Hopefully they will both enjoy some new scenery.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    How does Doman's offensive scheme favor a running option?

    BYU's #1 and #2 QB's had different talents. When Jake failed to move the offense, Nelson was brought in. He had the ability to be mobile, and the offense incorporated that skill.

    If Heaps would have moved the offense, Nelson would have never saw the light of day. Nelson was not moved up because he was mobile. Nelson was moved up because he was able to move the offense.

    Munns and Lark must be thrilled with this news. Lark is one play away from being the starter in the next 14 games, and given how Nelson plays the probability of him seeing action is very high. And Munns has a shot at being the starter his Sr year. 2013 will be an interesting battle between Sr Munns vs Redshirt Freshmen Hill and Olsen.

    If the comment about the Nelson family is not true, Harmon owes the entire Nelson family a personal and public apology. And if Brooke attached the Nelson name to a comment made by a random person, she owes the Nelson family an apology also.

    I can't imagine Heaps succeeding at USC or SCarolina. Go for Wazzuu or BSU.

  • dvk75 CLEARFIELD, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    Well Mr Harmon I hope you apologize to Riley Nelson and his family as fast as you threw them under the bus. Just because fans in the stands can see better results and then cheer for the results and Jake's wife gets her feelings hurt it must be Riley's family. From what I saw it was the whole stadium.
    You start out trying to build sympathy for Jake and make people feel bad about his transfer. He got his chance and he didn't show up. Riley got his chance and ran with it.

    Dec. 5, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    One more thing...Roger French was the long time offensive coordinator who led the offense during the 'pass happy days.'
    In today's college football, the successful teams have a good balance of run and pass, aks LSU, Alabama, and South Carolina (had to throw them in there).

    Dec. 5, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    @patriot: Wow, take it easy. Take a step back and breath....there now. No one is saying that BYU is going to go to the option. Pretty sure that they are saying that they like QB's that can throw and are mobile. Many programs have success with QB's that can get out of a tight spot and pick up a first down when needed with their feet. Last year's Heisman trophy winner comes to mind. Mike Vick, Steve Young, etc. Nothing against drop back passers at all. So you are saying that BYU doesn't have a chance to be in the top 20 with a QB of this style? Wow, doom and gloom! Heaps didn't take the program to a top 20. Perhaps if he'd have stayed but now we wont know. BYU has other players in the pipeline. The program is not built on 1 player. Guess what happened the year after Steve Young left for the pros? National Championship. This is a team game and those that play together as a team will be successful. That is what Bronco is trying to do with 'Band of Brothers.' Not band of Heaps.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:46 p.m.

    Note to PaulMax: Five minutes no talking.

    Patriot: I actually have to disagree with Dick, and thus you, on this one. The games that I watched (and I watched every one of them, thanks!) the offense looked perfectly tailored to a drop-back, pocket passer, ie Heaps. And you might say that an under-developed run game certainly put more pressure on the quarterback, but I think too many bad passes and dropped passes meant that defenses could put more pressure on our running game.

    You might recall the announcers discussing a couple of times in the Hawaii game that Riley was good in the short passes and down field passes, but not so much on the intermediate stuff. Indeed, I saw no problem with his arm. I think Riley HAS improved this season at QB (no upside?) and that the offense was tweaked to accomodate him, not designed and built around him.

    Just my observations.

  • 17-14 Hurts Don't It? Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:44 p.m.


    "...enjoy Riley and your below average wins against some of the poorest teams in college football."

    And this is opposed to losing to some of the poorest teams in college football... like Colorado?

    1-6 for a basketball junkie's team 'hurts don't it?'

    Back atcha!

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Regarding the taunts to Jake's wife...

    BYU has some pathetic fans...so does Utah, so does Utah State, so does San Diego State, so does Wyoming, so does Weber state, so does USC, so does Alabama, so does Oregon, so does......

    BYU also has some classy fans...so does Utah, so does Utah State, so does San Diego State, so does Wyoming, so does Weber State, so does USC, so does Alabama, so does Oregon, so does......

    The wife of any player, especially those pro bound, must learn to love the classy fans and laugh at the pathetic fans.

  • MurrayGuy Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    What I find interesting is the Cougar fans turning on each other, almost as fun to watch as the Utah BYU reruns this year.

  • Chumpley South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    To the #1 SLC Sports Fan?

    Where did you get your info about the LDS Church leaders wanting to drop football?

    Is that something you made up or something you hope happens. BYU's Football program is a bit more relevant than say the U's if you look at the body of work the past 40 years. Utah has been very good for say 10 years but have no way accomplished the things BYU has.The offense that BYU created with Lavell and his staff, and all the All American QB's cannot be taken lightly. BYU football is known coast to coast. You must be old enough to remember most of the beat downs the U took during the 70's 80's 90's until Ronny Mac put some teams together that won some games. Lighten up on the hate just a bit being the #1 SLC Sports Fan you must know about sportsmanship right?

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    "Switch to the night of Sept. 30, 2011, in LaVell Edwards Stadium. Jake's wife Brooke watched her husband get benched as BYU trailed late against Utah State. As his replacement Riley Nelson sparked a Cougar comeback, several rows back members of Nelson's family were observed yelling down at Brooke, "Why aren't you cheering now?" In tears, Brooke witnessed the victory but never attended another BYU game."

    If this incident is not true, and the Nelson family truly has been slandered, Dick Harmon should be contacted by the Nelson family's lawyer, and Harmon should be at least reprimanded, and at most fired.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    "BYU likes its more mobile QB pipeline"

    What in the name of sense is this supposed to mean Dick??? So BYU now goes for the 5'10" scrambler that can't throw the ball down field? So much for the "past QB's" of Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Marc Wilson, Gifford Nielsen, Robbie Bosco, Ty Detmer, John Beck, Max Hall , etc... all drop back pocket passers. Young was the only exception. So now BYU wants to go to the Doman option attack huh?? So long top 20 - hellooooo bottom 20. BYU football is headed for the dumpster. No decent QB is going to even take a second look at BYU anymore.

    I wonder if Bronco wouldn't mind cutting his 3 year contract to two... or even one?? Geez, Lavell and Chow have got to be shaking their heads to see the dynamic passing attack they built over 30 years be reduced to a watered down Air Force option offense on the same level as Conference USA .

    Dec. 5, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    Paulmax: How did Doman fail miserably? How did Nelson ruin anyone's career? Nelson puts it all on the field every time he steps out there. Don't blame Heaps' departure on the fact that Nelson did what was expected of him...going out and giving it your all. Sounds like very sour grapes to me.

    Those of you that think this is bad for BYU, I ask why? It's true that they wont have Heaps anymore but even though they built the last couple of season's on the hope that Heaps would deliver and gave him every opportunity, they have been recruiting some very capable QB's and even have a few on the team.

    BYU will be just fine and I hope that Mr. Heaps can succeed at his new school.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:47 p.m.


    Your comment is as relevant as "4th and 18," except that one was reality and was converted for a first down.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:36 p.m.


    Harmon needs to be reprimanded if, indeed, his comments about Nelson's family are inaccurate, and you need to take a hard look at you "monitoring."

  • #1 SLC Sports Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    There are 3 things that should be noted:

    1-If Heaps thought he could be a better missionary being a college and eventual NFL player then why play at BYU? Wouldn't such a mission be more effective in a BCS league school? A program that BYU will NEVER become?

    2-Heaps recruitedited by the offense put in place by then-coordinator Robert Anae, how could he expect to work with Brandon Doman's scheme that is more centered around a mobile QB?

    3-The BYU athletic department is a sinking ship with respects to major relevance, ESPN or not. The future is very much up in the air with some LDS Church leaders wishing to at the very least drop the football program and scale back athletics to the WCC participating sports. Even others wish to go the route of BYU-Idaho and eliminatdepartmentrtment entirely.

    BYU isn't a big research school with few PhD programs, perhaps it's time to drop football and truly be the school it should be.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    BYU Texas

    is right on the money. Harmon said something to the effect that "someone is said to have heard" Nelson's family make comments to Brooke heaps. What utter hearsay, but it won't stop the grist mill from grinding on all Y fans over unsubstantiated comments. Harmon and the DNews ought to be embarrassed by the inclusion of such rumor.

    That said, Harmon also gives a pretty balanced view of a disappointing situation.

    It has always been so and will always be that potential is not performance. If it were not so, I would have beat Tiger by 6 shots yesterday, and Johnny Harline would not still be open in the end zone.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    The false story about the Nelson family hazing Mrs. Heaps is a complete lie. The Nelson's were in attendance at the Cache Valley rivalry football game between Skyview & Logan High over 100 hundred miles to the north. The Nelson's were kept informed of Riley's heroics as family and friends listened to the BYU highlights.

    I find this disturbing that a falsehood this vile has been given the light of day.

    It is sad that Heaps young bride may have been heckled at all, that is low class and cowardice. I hope who ever may have done this returns to the rock they crawled out from under.

  • Carson Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    Bronco is taking this program right to the bottom.

    Dec. 5, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    Note to Doman: you have failed miserably!
    Note to Nelson: who else's career are you going to ruin next?

  • spudlydoright McCammon, Idaho
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    What happened to Jakes wife is absolutely dispicable but typical of the Provo mentality. He will be much happier and more successful somewhere else.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    Heaps final BYU career stats:

    363 of 635 (57.2%), 3,768 yards (5.93 avg), 24 TDs, 17 ints, 114.13 rating

    A 114.13 rating would rank Jake 95th in the country this year.

    You can talk about Jake's great talent and potential all you want, but bottom line, he didn't produce on the field anywhere close to his hype. Most disappointing, however, was his lack of leadership and competitiveness.

    It's sad to see Jake's career at BYU end this way, but I hope he finds a new school where he can be successful.

    I'm reminded of a BYU QB who once split time with another QB, before having to redshirt a season while awaiting his turn to be BYU's starter.

    Two years later, he had one of the greatest seasons in NCAA history and led BYU to a miraculous finish in the Holiday Bowl.

    Jake could have been one of BYU's all-time greats, IF he'd had the kind of competitive fire that McMahon, Young, Bosco, and Detmer had.

    If only...

  • Andrew Streeter HIGH POINT, NC
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    Steve Young, and Jimmer didn't go on missions either and look how unsuccessful their careers w....oh wait...

    My mission was the greatest thing I'VE ever done, but it isn't my place to tell people what to do with their lives.

  • Mickey Houston, TX
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:19 p.m.

    Shame on you Harman for failing as a journalist and not doing your research. You just ended up slandering a good family name. Since I can't post the URL just look up in the archives the story about Riley Nelson's family being at their son's game in Logan the same night as Riley's heroics. What was even the point of putting that in there?

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    Chicken chaser
    Now there's a thought... especially if the Boise State-BYU long term Home and Home remains viable. That's a twist I never thought about. I bet Peterson just might give Jake a call. That would be interesting...

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:12 p.m.

    Two scenes? Two words - Riley Nelson.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    I'm sad to see him moving on. It's frustrating to see that kind of talent go elsewhere. I wish Jake and his family the best and hopefully BYU is making good decisions at the quarterback position to replace him.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:04 p.m.


    I hope you are correct. I seem to recall hearing (reading) that indeed his family was attending the high school game.

    I just feel bad for Jake. Tough thing to shoulder as an 18 (then) year old, now 20.

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    Jake's troubles began with his press conference at Iggys. Imagine the resentment he created in his future, seasoned team mates. I'm convinced that if he came in with the right attitude he would have developed just fine. Now he has a short time to prove that he has changed and can grow. Personally, I think his father and his guru did a huge disservice to this kid. Hope it works out somewhere else. What a valuable lesson to young players: Let your performance on the field do the talking. Be willing to wait your turn. Make the most of opportunities rather than expect the opportunities to make the most of you. Jake just may become a great parable for little league coaches everywhere.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    Man... I hate to see him go...but if he's going to leave I hope he considers the Huskies of Washington...which was his other preference before he finally made the decision to go with BYU...or possibly with USC...although comparatively I think Sarkesian would be the better coach over Kiffen. I would like to see Heaps succeed in a program that is strongly on it's way up...which is the direction that Sakesian has Washington going. Plus it would be interesting to see the competition between Heaps and Montana. Doesn't matter where he goes he's going to have to compete for the starting position with someone.

  • regis Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    The comparison to Ben Olsen is appropriate. Where is he now? What of significance did he ever accomplish?

    I hold no ill will for Jake Heaps. I'm not rooting against the prospects of his success at a different school. But from what I've seen with other players who transfer, I don't think the odds are in his favor.

    Dec. 5, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    Unfortunatly there is a glaring and inexcusable error in the article that needs to be addressed and corrected. The Nelson family was NOT in attendance the night of game of the USU game. Riley's parents, grandparents and brothers were in Cache Valley watching Riley's younger brother play quarterback for Logan High. They were recieved their updates via radio while they watched Riley's younger brother DJ dismantle Sky View.

    It is very unfortunate that anybody would mock the wife of one of the student athletes and this is unacceptable behavior of any BYU fan. However, it is equally inappropraite that the Deseret News would allow an unsubstantiated accusation such as this to be levied against the Nelson family.

    This error casts doiubt on every idea, assertation and conclusion that is made in the article. I wish Jake Heaps the best in his future endevors-- BYU may not have been an ideal fit for him. But blaming the Nelson family for any falling out that Heaps had with the school, coaches or fans is silly.

  • Clovis Fan Clovis, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    Its really too bad that it didn't work out, but I have confidence that things usually work out for the best for everyone. The part about the Nelson family harassing Brooke Heaps is very troubling. I sincerely hope that it isn't true, but if it is true that they have apologized. If it is true and they have not apologized, its pretty hard to believe Jake could be "friends" and support Riley as he has stated many times. There's something about that that just doesn't ring true. However, if it is somehow true and there was never any apology, it puts a stain on Riley and his family. It needs to be clarified in the minds of BYU fans everywhere!

    Dec. 5, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    Special thanks to Vai Sikahema, Brad Rock, Gordon Monson, David Loche who all took turns stirring the pot and making life even harder for a 19 year old kid dealing with a tough situation. What irks me is that after the sportswriters basically told Heaps he was tainted goods and that transferring was his only option they then turn around and act surprised that its happening. At least Dick Harmon had enough class not to kick the kid in the teeth while he was down unlike the rest of the Utah sports writers.

  • Gorum The Old Madison, AL
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Note to the Author, Dick Harmon:

    Stop making up information. You state that Heaps had trouble fitting in to Doman's offense. If you had bothered to pay attention, It was pretty clear that the whole offense was built and designed around Heaps. He was the heir apparent and was going to lead the Cougar offense forward to greater things and dominate opposing offenses for the next 3 years. Of course the offense was built around Heaps. He was arguably the most talented QB recruit ever to play for the Cougars

    The switch only occured when it became clear that Heaps simply could not get the job done. In the first 5 games under Heaps, the offense only scored 6 TDs. He had 3 passing Tds and 5 INTs, 2 of which were returned for tds. Doman had to adjust hi offense for Nelson.

  • agarrett PROVO, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    @ Tom in CA
    I couldn't agree with you more. Like Mike Loyd, and also Ben Olson...the grass will not be greener for Jake Heaps. This is bad for both BYU and Heaps. Heaps should just redshirt at BYU next year, since he is going to have to sit-out next season anyway!

  • Jaspet03 LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    Awful article Harmon... Jake Heaps should leave, if he doesn't have the competitive attitude to go and get the starting job he will never make it at any University or NEVER in the NFL. I love how people say that Riley can do no wrong and thats why Jake is justified leaving the team. Jake since the day he showed up at BYU was the golden boy and himself alone lost the job because of lack of work ethic and time working on his craft. He has a great arm but that does nothing if you can't make a read or lift a weight in the gym. And the fact that Harmon you would even bring up a "rumor" that someone from Nelsons family treated Brooke badly is a joke. I don't condone Jake leaving, he left because he doesn't have his food on a silver platter, I hope he goes to Washington because they are the only school that will feed him his food. And for all the Nelson haters he is 7th in the Nation currently for QB passer rating, can rush better than any QB in the nation, and keeps the offense on the field. He is the X factor and has what jake heaps hasn't.

  • Cougar Alumni Beaver, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Dick! insightful article, Im impressed

    Bronco, should have never allowed a high school boy to have a press conference!

    If Jake's father or his QB guru orchestrated that they are to blame for this mess but still Bronco should have stopped it!

    Makes you wonder why Washington pulled their scholarship from Jake.

    It sounds like Jakes dad is a wannabe living his life through his son. Big mistake!

    Bronco, buck up from now on and Coach!

    Good luck to Jake, odds are against you.

    Good Luck to the Y program now, They will need it!

  • Justice13 OREM, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    I would like to clarify something that Dick Harmon included in his article. The Nelson family was not in attendance at the BYU/Utah State game, as they were in Cache Valley watching Riley's younger brothers playing in a high school game that evening. They only learned of Riley's participation in the game through radio updates given to them by other parents who were attending the high school game. I'm so sorry if someone was unkind to Jake Heaps' wife that evening, that sort of thing should never happen. But please, don't blame the Nelson family for that type of behavior.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    This will be damaging to Doman's career if Heaps shines somewhere else.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    "It makes me sick that supposedly adults would pick on a young players young wife."

    My sentiments exactly. What an embarassment.

  • bigj5661 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    You are all right, Jake is a little bit of a drama queen. But to say he has no talent is asenine. He has incredible potential. It comes down to horrible coaching. Good coaches take drama queens and teach them discipline. Good coaches don't make the huge mistakes that have been made dealing with the quarterback situation. This was aweful. I hope that BYU and Jake can both rebound from this.

  • bballjunkie Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Captain L and BYU fans.

    I hope you love crow.. and enjoy Riley and your below average wins against some of the poorest teams in college football.

    Go Tulsa and whoever plays BYU football. What a joke.

    Oh and if you think Tanners not thinking twice now, your kidding yourself cougar fans, and coaching staff. And I hope he bails soon!

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    This was a fantastic article that puts a good viewpoint on the situation. I am convinced that this will be good for both BYU and for Jake Heaps. Next year's team with Nelson, Hill, and Tanner Magnum will be too deep for Heaps, yet he still is a talented player who could do better in a different system.

    Mobile quarterbacks will always have a huge edge on non-mobile QBs unless they are 6'4"+ with a super quick release (Payton Manning for example).

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    It seems that Mr Harmon knew a few things that he kept under his vest. I am disgusted with the Nelson clan if they really did that to Heaps wife. They can all go cheer for the red JC school up on the hill if that is the "quality" that they bring with them from Logan.

    Also, if Doman really did not talk to Heaps since the Utah game I am even more disgusted with him.. Heaps bore the brunt of his lousy play calling early in the year, but that is only part of it. Struggling to be a good coach in year one is a problem but understandable. Not communicating with a player under your watch is inexcusable. I am beginning to think that Anai(?) was the wrong coach to fire.

    I like Riley but Jake had potential that Riley will never have and that should have been considered before giving Riley all the guaranteed wins on the schedule. For all the problems in the punting game, Riley's turnovers were just as costly in the loss to TCU.

    Best line of the article "Utah was never an option". The Utes should get used to that phrase.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    As much as many of us wanted him to succeed due to his skill level, it appears he might have just been a practice phenom, but not a playing phenom, like Riley.

    Good luck wherever you end up, Jake.

  • Chickenchaser Centralia, WA
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    Kellen Moore must move on and, . . . ..

    Dec. 5, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    A sad day for this long-time BYU supporter, but a long time coming. None of know all the details but this is an indictment of the current coaching staff and culture at the football program. At his best, Heaps can and probably will be one of the premier QB's in the country. At his best, Nelson is an average QB with no arm strength, a big heart, bad (but lucky) decision maker with a decent record against subpar programs. No matter how they spin it, this will only breed more mediocrity until the school and boosters finally make the decision to get rid of a really good man and a very poor football coach. You need only look to the basketball program to see how an excellent coach who knows how to work with talent can create a superior product. One more thought (assuming it is true) ... shame on Riley Nelson's family for their despicable conduct with Heaps wife. If Nelson had any class, he would apologize to Heaps and his family. But, the best revenge will be Heaps' successful collegiate and probable NFL career while Nelson is selling cell phone contracts in Provo for a living.

  • RobertC SLC, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    Out on the field...

    During the games... When it counted

    He missed open recievers... way to often

    When it counted he simply could not do it.

    It's OK Jake ... Most people can't. You will be OK.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Dick: I'm pretty sure Jake's press conference was held at "Iggy's" and not "Ziggy's". Iggy's is a sports grill, "Ziggy's" is a smoke shop. There is some humor in your mistake, but you might want to change it.

    Sorry to see Jake go. He had the potential to be a great quarterback, but I don't think the BYU community had the patience to wait for him to develop. He'll do well elsewhere. I think this will have some serious repercussions down the line, however. Maybe future five star quarterbacks will think twice before entrusting their football career to this program.

  • dden45 Provo, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    I wanna know more about the supposed taunting of Heaps' wife. As it is right now it just sounds like a bunch of unsubstantiated hearsay, that's going to turn into something much bigger and more false.

  • Disgruntled Nephi, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    Anybody else notice this article has changed? Just delete the whole thing!

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    Pac 12 or SEC- Heaps had trouble with speed and locking in on a receiver- do that in either one of those conferences and he will be in a world of trouble- just because he has nice mechanics and can throw hard does not mean he is a quaterback- I hope he succeeds beyond all expectations but my two cents says I strongly I doubt it if it is a cnference a step or two up from the competition I saw him play against- good luck though

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    Here it is. Dick's rallying the troops.


  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    Like Michael Loyd - Heaps will find out the grass is not greener. I wish him well.

  • G-Force Washington, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    I hope Jake has a fulfilling career wherever he ends up. BYU has now been relegated to a feeder program for a BCS school. Jake's new program will benefit from two years of experience and a needed transition red shirt year. He should be ready to go for the 2013 season. For whatever reason, It's too bad BYU's recruiting process put Jake into the unearned QB position. I believe the "mature" team members must have been less-than-excited about all the hype and less-than-stellar performances against good teams the past two years...with a teenager pulling the trigger. The BYU "system" has produced many QB's who weren't highly regarded, but they paid their dues and were ready to play after a few years of learning. There have been exceptions, but ultimately Heaps wasn't ready for prime-time as a true freshman or sophomore. He will, however, be ready as a junior and senior. The trigger men have been truly invested in Jake, and now that investment is gone. Perhaps a walk-on will now get his scholarship...and that's the state of the program. OBTW Dick, nice work with the Nelson family mud sling. Forget about being a BYU family, we've got Tradition, Honor & Spirit to think about.

  • DBitt Homer, AK
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    Funny how the great Riley Nelson's family harrassing Brooke Heaps did not come out until now. It makes me sick that supposedly adults would pick on a young players young wife.

  • JohnsonR SLC, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    Bottom line. Hit the open reciever. Jake did not and could not do it. Blah blah blah...

    If he made the passes he would still be in Provo.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Jake was given plenty of opportunity and just didn't perform, the problems now being talked about wouldn't be problems if Jake had performed like he should have and has the talent to do. To me it is more Heaps fault than the coaches.

  • Coug Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    Good luck to Jake and his family. I hope he finds what he's looking for.

    Moving forward, I anxious to learn more about James Lark, Taysam Hill, and Ammon Olsen.

  • One-eyed pigeon West Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 5, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Why hasn't Doman spoken to Heaps in nearly 2 months? I would think the communication would increase after the Ute blowout and getting benched for Utah State. If this is true, then Doman is extremely immature and I feel bad for Heaps. Something seems off about this claim though Harmon.