Doug Robinson: Heaps should have borrowed page from Nelson's playbook

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  • VAggie Bristow, United States
    Dec. 12, 2011 1:39 a.m.

    To claim Heaps is somehow to be looked down on for transferring, when Riley Nelson also transferred (because daddy was offended) from USU to BYU. Isn't that a little inconsistent of someone to then build up Riley? When he transferred for an arguably worse reason?

  • dnay Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:28 p.m.

    I'm truly amazed reading some of these responses. Using Riley and Max Hall as examples. Those are completely different just like Ben Olsen was different they transfered coming off missions realizing they wanted to be somewhere else without playing, except for Riley, and as he pointed out he went from a sure starter to the unknown. Jake is leaving because his ego is bruised, he lost his job and instead of doing what he can to get it back he looks for greener pastures. We all learn more from adversity and those quarterbacks that go through adversity seem to have better careers. He could have become stronger through an experience like that. I get sick of everyone saying the coaches didn't give him a chance, that makes me laugh there's a couple of really good quarterbacks on the bench who haven't had any chance at all. From the beginning you could see that the job was Jake's to lose, and guess what he lost it.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:06 p.m.

    This whole Riley/Heaps debate is really moreover which quarterback meets Offensive Coordinator needs as Doman is that person and not Anae. Doman is starting to leave his imprint on BYU as the offensive coordinator, as that coaching position determines offensive game plan that the QB executes in the offensive play. Will Doman be like other Offensive coordinator greats at BYU (Chow, Scovil, Tollner, those that even coached at the NFL level) only time will tell. We will see what QBs BYU is able to recruit that reflect Doman's style and that is apparent from how Doman played at BYU a non drop back passing quarterback. Doman's elected to retain two coaching positions like Mendenhall and is that wise, again only time will tell? BYU fans want BYU to win its games and have a schedule that reflects if BYU wins its games it will be ranked in top 25 poll and playing an a major bowl against the highest ranked team possible. BYU 9-3 season would be far more impressive if BYU had done this while in conference like PAC12, Big12, Big Ten, SEC, or Big East.

  • tuffgong POCATELLO, ID
    Dec. 8, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    Some guys work out, some don't. If recruiting hype were to win titles every year, Notre Dame would be undefeated every year.. I'm fairly confident that Taysom Hill will make us all forget about Heaps.. And yes, I am a biased friend.. Go Cougs!

  • Cache Valley1 Logan, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Nelson against TCU had a QB rating of 111.6. Heap's ratings against Texas 98.5, Utah 107.5, UCF 74, USU 80.

    Average rating for 2011 is Heaps at 111 and Nelson at 163. Last year's ratings were Nelson at 104 and Heaps at 116. Heaps's average rating for 2010 against the patsies was less than Nelson's ratings for the TCU game in 2011. BYU moved the ball just fine against TCU.

    Stats courtesy of the internet. Anyone is able to check on it.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 12:26 p.m.


    You write:

    "The rantings of a confirmed utah troll are not in the least bit believable. Undoubtedly you cannot back up any of your claims about Chambers, Heaps wife, or any of the other drivel you have claimed."

    The OâNeill Chambers story was written in BYUâs own Universe publication. Not hard to find. Do you know how to use popular internet search engines?

    The Brooke Heaps story was very recent article written by the BYU homer Dick Harmon

    So you are saying that these sources are not to be trusted?

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Dec. 8, 2011 12:18 p.m.

    I hope Jake finds a school that has to play BYU every year. It will be fun to watch him beat the Cougars down every time they play him and his team!!!

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    You've given the embarrassing truth. I wish Jake the best and hope that he does well both as a person and as a QB. I'm certain that he and BYU look back and wish they could undo a few things. Competing with BYU's new QB recruits would have been difficult and it may not be easier at another school.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:11 a.m.


    I will give you that he didn't lose that game for BYU. He didn't win it either. All I'm hearing about Nelson is that he wins games. He didn't win that one.

    And by the way, the next big game he wins will be his first.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    Flashback--No, Nelson lost the TCU game...chucking the ball up in the air for multiple picks. As soon as Nelson plays any team that puts pressure on him, which most of the schedule does not, he freaks out and chucks the ball. Oh, yeah, he's a hero for the last chuck up in the air, because "luckily" somebody caught the ball. And it was luck. That pass could just as easily been picked off. I'm so excited that BYU gets to beat the New Mexico States and the Idaho states of college football. But the stadium will eventually start to have many tickets available, if things don't change.

    And I can't wait for some new meat to come into the quarterback battle. The hotdogs we've been having to choke down don't compare to the steak of the past!

  • fender Washington, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:53 a.m.


    Let me hand you a hanky, so you don't embarrass yourself. No need to fret. You can follow Heaps at Backwater Tech or wherever he finally reaches his level of play.

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    Dec. 8, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    Have to agree... other schools can only be looking at Heaps as a real good backup anyway. I wouldn't waste my time on a quiter anyway. We may not like Nelson all that much, but at least he fought the fight... Heaps ran when things didn't go his way.

    What he really should have done was serve a mission. Aside from the fact that its what God wants, those two years of growth go a long way. the NCAA wouldn't let you just sit for two years so the Mission exepmtion works out great...

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    D'Anconia news flash. Nelson didn't lose the TCU game. BYU's special teams lost the game. Nelson put up more than enough points to win and the Y's defense did a good job in a lousy circumstance cause by the special teams.

  • JonnyDanger HOUSTON, TX
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    I agree with some of the points and think Jake could have gained a lot. I mean for crying out loud it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Riley Nelson is literally only ever one play away from an injury. Even in the small sample size of half a season Jake played two games as the main quarterback and in another two as the clean-up.

    But on the other hand, I think there are some legitimate reasons for a transfer. Obviously Riley has the team behind him while Jake may not. That isn't likely to change. Also the play calling seems to facilitate Riley's style a lot more than Jake's. Doman spent half of his first year as OC (and will spend his first full offseason as OC) scheming for Riley's talents, which means that Jake would be forced to play in a system that doesn't work well with his skill set. I would have liked to see him stay and fight, but I can't entirely blame him for leaving.

  • Y Grad Pumping Gas Beaver, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    He should have checked out the whole book!

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    Jake should have borrowed more than just a page from Riley's playbook...

  • hammercoco ALAMOSA, CO
    Dec. 8, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    I continue to be very disappointed in BYU fans and their behavior over this. I always thought they were better than this. If it is true that Doman was not even speaking to Heaps...what trash is that...what type of a program would have coaches like that. Jake left on his own...BYU's offense is much worse than last year with most back. I will bet that Mr. Doman will not leave on his own.

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 6:15 a.m.

    Come on, Robinson, "he was giving up a sure starting job and stepping into the unknown for a chance to play for a nationally renowned program". Are you serious? I think you meant to say nationally KNOWN program, not nationally renowned, right.

    How is byu a nationally renowned program; just because you root for them and espn puts them on television each week, despite their weak sister schedule? I think you, like most byu fans, confuse being on television with being relevent in the national college football scene.

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 5:00 a.m.

    Enough. Do we have any "writers" who have not taken a shot at Jake Heaps. But this is old news now. Jake and his wife have made their choice. It may or may not be a good one. But it is time to let them have some peace and respect. Enough bridge burning.

    Good luck to the young couple. I for one hope they do well in their new home, be it wherever. Something like this could strain a marriage so I hope they can rise above this media circus, settle in and be happy.

    For Jake, individually, I hope his career plans are successful.

    Good Luck!

  • kevo Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    I agree with Doug! Well put. Heaps is running from an opportunity to face adversity which any world class athlete knows he MUST go through to become the absolute best. I'm sick of hearing about Heaps' was so obvious that the offense couldn't move the ball with Heaps at the helm and then the defense got so tired from being on the field, it was frustrating to watch.

    So long, Heaps. You could've been great. But now, you'll fade just like the other QBs that left for greener pastures and were never heard from again.

    Dec. 7, 2011 10:27 p.m.


    First off I am a life long Ute fan. Some of the comments that you come up with about this subject have just made me laugh. BYU started winning as soon as that "Tim Tebow look-a-like" was made the starting QB. A traditional pro-style offence is exactlly what he (Doman) was running with Heaps, but why would he run the same thing with Nelson.

    Personally I could care less about Heaps or Nelson, but when you start comparing Nelson to Tebow all I know is you have two QB's that might not look like an NFL QB but they sure and the heck WIN. That kid that earned a scholarship to a D1 school is BYU's QB. I watched about ten plays the other night and he was moving the team pretty good against another D1 school. The only thing bad I would have to say about him is that he needs to get a helmet that fits just cutting his hair isn't going to make that thing fit any better.

    As always GO UTES

    Not Brad rather Robert he is now the OC at Arizona

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    But it doesn't matter that I don't like Riley. He's tough, he's improving, and hes winning. He has a ton of pressure on his shoulders going into the bowl game against Tulsa who is better than alotta people think. He needs Cougar Nation to rally him more now than ever

    It's time to move on and pray for our athletic Football player taking snaps.
    Congrats again to Doug for driving comments like Dick H! Someone give him a raise.

    I was being sarcastic Doug.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Duckhunter I wished I had your user name. Maybe Ill become Deerhunter.
    I recognize BYU has several people on the roster who are QBs. But after Heaps 2011 season what makes us believe they will perform better? He was the top dawg recruit at any position in his class. Right now we do not have a roster loaded with guys who can start at QB and win every game. Riley is not a QB, hes a heck of an athlete - hes a football player.
    Would you rather have a QB or a Football player taking snaps? Bronco and Brandon will always start the football player. So unless one of your top recruits qualifies in Broncos eyes as a Football player who can pass also, we dont have a roster loaded with QBs.
    My opinion is we need to put this entire debacle behind us. We need to move forward. Im not a Riley fan. Ive watched him practice more than once I dont like how he horses around on the sidelines when hes not playing. He should be focused every practice/game whether hes playing or not.

  • Cache Valley1 Logan, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    Have some of you forgotten that Heaps mopped up the patsy schedule last year and had a good game against powerhouse UTEP in a bowl game? Look at the schedule again if you forgot----Wyoming, UNLV, New Mexico, etc. Heaps had a chance to succeed on the big stage as a sophomore and looked pathetic.

    There shouldn't be any excuses about coaching. If you want to use that excuse then those who like watching a leader play would have to say the coaching staff has done an excellent job with Nelson.

    I think it would be interesting to find out which QB worked hardest in the off season with things like weight room attendance and 7 on 7 workouts with the offense. Maybe a reporter could dive into that and find out who worked the hardest in the off season. It looks like to me the offensive players have gravitated towards Nelson. Usually that bonding takes place in the off-season and outside of football meetings and official practices.

    I'm not sure Heaps is to blame in all of this and I won't go there. I think his advisors and parents should shoulder some of the blame.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    I think heaps could have been fine in the BYU system, but I think the media made him out to be more than he is. He's too small to be the pocket passer, and the kid moves like he's got rocks in his shoes. A true pocket passer is taller than 6'2" and weighs more than 210. Heaps is probably overstated in both height and weight. He probably comes in at about 5'11" 190 and his 40 time is probably 4.9. He doesn't seem to have much backbone. I wish him the best but I really do prefer the scrappy fearless leader type. I honestly thought we had a solid qb after the Utah game in 2010 and I stuck with him till Nelson came in and gave us that wild ride against USU, but that same kid from the Utah game 2010 never showed up to the field ever again.

    Dec. 7, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    I stayed on the sidelines until the anti-BYU talking heads in the media tried to spin it as BYU's fault that Jake left. I don't take up a sword in the anti-Jake crusade. But I do take up a shield to fend off the anti-BYU crusade of the blabber-mouths on talk radio. Their theories are ridiculous. Didn't treat Jake in a way becoming of a 5 star recruit?? Give me a break. JAKE STARTED MORE GAMES AS A TRUE FRESHMAN THAN ANY QB IN BYU HISTORY. Deal with it.

    Show me a person who claims Jake should have played out the entire Utah State game, and I'll show you somebody who's clueless about football. It was obvious, Nelson had to come in for Jake. Nelson rescued the game. Mendenhall and Doman rightly decided that Nelson would be the starter in the remaining games, thanks to his heroics. There is nothing wrong with that. BYU is not at fault.

    Again, is this a knock on Jake? No. Nothing said above is a knock on Jake. It's merely fending off the anti-hyenas who take every opportunity to circle and howl whenever they think they smell blood.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:05 p.m.

    D'Anconia | 9:07 a.m. Dec. 7, 2011
    Providence, UT

    Your original comment:

    "Well Riley. You're the man now. Let's see how you handle the pressure. You failed against TCU but then again that game didn't matter since your season was over by that point anyway. You will be expected to come out next year and run the table. Good luck. You'll need it...just like you needed it to beat Utah State."

    My comment - seems a little shrill to me, especially for someone from Providence.

    Your comment - seems a little smug to you. "Keep it classy."

    My comment - still seems shrill. And somewhat less than classy. Just my opinion.

  • Billy Budd Saint George, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:45 p.m.


    Tearing a student-athelete and/or his family apart and mocking him/them day after day because he no longer wants to be at BYU.

    I'm sure this is not what the Board of Trustee's nor BYU had in mind when they talked about gaining exposure.

    More like being exposed.

    BYU and BYU fans are better than this.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:32 p.m.

    A great no-nonsense article. Those who don't see it this way apparently weren't watching the same games I total frustration when Heaps played and total respect and amazement when Nelson played. I hope Jake lands on his feet.

  • Cougr4Life SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    Bye Jake. With respect. You did what you could while you were here. But BYU has to move on. Ben Olsen did it, you can as well.
    Hopefully BYU learns from this as we have a highly recruited kid coming on next year. Have patience with your current quarterback (Nelson). No more two QB controversy. Nelson is the man. Magnum, after a mission, if he goes and some additional maturity, BYU can mold him into a supahstah. If Nelson gets hurt, THEN and only then can Magnum come in and do his thing. No accusations, no controversy, if there are miscues as they will be easily forgiven. Young, Bosco, McMahon, Wilson, and even Detmer came in as backups to the current QB and were immediately successful because mistakes were overlooked. Doman, please take initiative to communicate with your players even if they don't like you. Don't hold grudges.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:05 p.m.

    The mark of a good QB is the ability to adjust your game to the current situation. Jake Heaps has been told how good he is from day 1 by his "personal Quarterback coach" and his close male relative. He's never had to adjust either his game or is attitude. Heaps doesn't have the mental toughness to handle a major college program let alone the pros. I wouldn't blame Doman too much. His original offense was built around Heaps and his style. It didn't work because Heaps couldn't run it. I wish him well but when I think of him, I'll compare him to the vaunted Ben Olsen.

  • satch Highland, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:01 p.m.

    Amen. This article hit it on the head! Leaders are born through opportunity. Jake had an opportunity to learn and personally I think he lost out.

    If Heaps was honest with himself and his performance over the last year I think he would even agree he was awful. I think a year off as a redshirt would have done wonders for him and made him more hungry.

    Seeing him in HS the kid had the mechanics, but many times that does not matriculate to college. Many 5 star athletes have learned this the hard way.

    I hope Heaps can take a step back and change his mind.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    Finally!!! A really great article on this whole Jake Heaps thing!

    Doug's last paragraph summed up my feelings perfectly. This is what ails many young people today--a feeling of "entitlement!" They don't think they have to pay the price, so to speak for anything anymore. I wish Jake well, and I hope he grows up and matures. This exit may come to haunt him.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    There are a lot of issues to this fiasco. I have absolutely NO confidence in Bronco as a coach or in anything that he says. His "Bronco Speak" usually tells us nothing. His worn out "Band of Brothers" T-shirts is junior high stuff. Can anyone imagine LaVell dressing like that. But most of all, is his lack of truthfulness, telling the press that Riley was a game time decision and Riley saying later that he knew on Tues that he was the starter, a full five days before the game.
    Also Riley played against the JVs with the exception of TCU and we know how that turned out. Heaps certainly didn't perform up to par this year but why would he stay when there has been NO communication with Doman.
    It is my opinion that BYU will see other players leave and more commits decommit, one already has. I think the coaching staff is a good example of the "Peter Principle" and this staff will never do any better than they have the last two years.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 5:31 p.m.


    The rantings of a confirmed utah troll are not in the least bit believable. Undoubtedly you cannot back up any of your claims about Chambers, Heaps wife, or any of the other drivel you have claimed.

    Frankly utah trolls like yourself have been callling Heaps "Hypes", claiming he was terrible, claiming he was a prima donna, and about a million other things for the last 3 years.

    Your born again Heaps defense is nothing more than your hate for BYU now causing you to change to a completely different line of attack simply to try and take advantage of the situation. It is pathetic but not in the least bit surprising.

    I personally wish Heaps and beome all that we Cugar fans had hoped he would be. He didn't. Now it's time to move on. I have no doubt you'll find a new avenue to express your hate for BYU soon enough.

  • Eugene2 Bear Lake, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Things just don't add up. There is more to this story that will ultimately come out. Based on results and wins, he simply didn't perform. Even when Heaps had completions, the receiver had to reach back, up or down causing him to fall down rather than being able to catch in stride for more yards. For being touted as potentially the most accurate QB ever, he was less than mediocre at game time.

    That all being said, good luck Jake wherever you end up playing.

  • SVfan Logan, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    Riley Nelson is no different than Jake. Riley backed out on a commitment to Utah State. And thats O.K. to tell kids that if things aren't going well, Bail?? You can sugar coat Riley's leaving Utah State as it being O.K. because he was going to your perceived better program. But he still backed out on a commitment!!

  • ugpg Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    Very very well said Doug. That is exacly what I would have written. Heaps is a cry baby and very conceded. All his interviews were always about him and he never gave credit to his teammates. Good ridance. You will never see him be a great player now. He blew it big time. No other team wants a quiter. He has a lot of growing up to do.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    I agree with this article:
    Exhibit 1: Where was Riley Nelson while Jake Heaps was losing to Utah State?
    The Punt team. Heart.

  • WillTheWolf SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    This is just a preemptive piece by a BYU supporter who wants to make sure he gets his digs in on Heaps while he still can; before Heaps goes to a big-time school and takes them to a big time bowl game. Nothing more. I think the pro-BYU press should be ashamed of themselves how they have handled this story by continuing to bash Heaps and his decision. Just goes to show that selfishness & narcissism continues to run amok here in the valley.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    Every starting QB at BYU has enormous to impossible expectations placed on him. Just because he fell short of them, BYU fans were ready with pitchforks and torches waiting. It's the only University I know that the entire four to five QB depth chart is known by the second week.

    Heaps played in the tougher games. He showed he could lead the Cougars against the inferior opponents like NMSU. What happened when Riley played up against good competition? TCU made him look terrible in the passing game. The word is out and defenses are going to play and 8 box contain and make him beat them through passing. I bet Tulsa beats BYU and makes Riley look bad.

    I never thought I would see myself coming to the defense of a BYU QB, but he has definitely been the red-headed step child for BYU fans. Doman didn't know how to utilize a passing QB.

    Best of luck for Heaps. Life is so much better outside of Provo. The worst is behind you and the wind is at your back now.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:04 p.m.


    Yes everyone was so happy to see him go and know that little Riley Nelson is the future at QB. Right. Dream on.

  • captdsb Calgary, Ab
    Dec. 7, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Maybe I missed something, but is this your same opinion for Riley when he left USU for BYU.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 3:05 p.m.


    A.. did you watch Jake at the end of last year under ROBERT Anae? Jake had all sorts of confidence and didn't seem to have much trouble with accuracy either. Imagine what Jake would have been like under Anae as a senior! You say that the coordinator or the system has no baring on how a QB plays huh? Notice how Alex Smith is now having a BANNER year this year for the 49ers after suffering through several years of mediocrity. Many said Alex couldn't pick up the NFL game and then came along Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach of the 49ers. Suddenly Alex is ACCURATE!! Suddenly Alex sees the field and picks up his receivers just fine... in fact he is doing GREAT and has lead the 49ers to first place in the division. Coincidence? I think not. Alex was a good QB all along but the 49ers had stinky coaches ... until this year. You could probably ask Steve Young the same question after he left Tampa Bay to play in San Francisco. The coach - the system - the coordinator makes ALL the difference!! Jake will be great again - just like he was under Anae.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:47 p.m.

    I think everybody is forgetting about Lark and his cohorts coming up in the ranks. It is by no means assured Heaps would be the starter against Lark after red-shirting. If Heaps had opted to serve a mission, instead of marrying, then he would have three more years and no Riley to compete with and would also have that much bally-hooed maturity. Again even then he would be competing against good competition because BYU continues to recruit good athletes.

    Bottom line is Heaps needs to feel confident he is making the right choices and I sincerely hope he has that. I know his wife and other advisers will have his best wishes in mind as they consult with him. The rest of us are simply kibbutzing.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    His game was exposed and none of his team mates cried about his benching, because they didn't like him. He was completely ignored on the sidelines and it was too much for a guy used to being the center of the universe. Of course he transferred. The coaches were happy to see him go.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    I find it interesting that people are more worried about this, than the debt being racked up by barack.

    Dec. 7, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    Well said Doug. As the old saying goes: "quitters never win and winners never quit." I don't think BYU failed Heaps, I think Heaps failed when he had to face adversity and he didn't know how to handle it. Instead of growing and learning from the experience he decided to tuck his tail and run. He really could have learned from the situation and grown and become a better person because of it. What does this teach others? If you don't get your way stomp your feet and throw a fit until you get your way. Life doesn't always work that way. He could have learned a lot of leadership qualities from Riley and how to work hard for what you want, what you want doesn't always get handed to you on a silver platter.

  • Pure Crazy LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    Okay everyone, first off a transfer is a transfer. There are multiple reasons athletes do so. Health, family, or they just plain want to get out of there. None of us know exactly what drove Heaps away. It could be he lost the starting position or it could be that he doesn't like the coaching of Doman and they had the falling out as has been a speculation. Regardless it is his decision and right. You don't think he didn't realize that even if he transferred schools he would have to sit out? Of course he knew that. College athletes transfer all of the time. What is the big deal? As I originally said, a transfer is a transfer. Everyone just needs to get over it and move one. Jake Heaps is still young and may make mistakes but he will learn from them. Since when has any 20 year old person been perfect and for that matter any one on here ragging on him? So why are so many people throwing a fit? People just need to move on, BYU still has a quarterback who fans are pleased with so why all the hype about a TRANSFER.

  • antiphonus Oxford, Oxon
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    This is from Heaps's interview with NEI from December 5th: "I really respect and like Coach Mendenhall, hes a great man. Ive learned a lot about football from Coach Doman."

    Compare the comments about the two coaches. It certainly sounds as though there has been a significant falling out. I wonder when the whole story will emerge...

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    To all of you who say the Nelson family owes the Heaps family an apology:

    Why do you ignore the several eye witnesses who have said on this very blog, they saw the Nelson family in Logan the night of the alleged incident?? And as far as the "incident" - it is total hearsay.

    Too bad Riley wasn't inserted into the second half of the TX game - this whole season would have been a lot different.

  • I-Bleed-Blue ROANOKE, VA
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:32 p.m.

    You really shouldn't judge the situation when you know so few details.

  • Oregonian Sherwood, OR
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    So BYU coaches can't make a winner out of top-ranked QB (Heaps). But somehow they've been able to make a winner out of lesser talent (Riley)?

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    We wish Jake and his family the very best as they make the decision of which school to transfer to in 2012. I would suggest UCLA as a possible fit. Academic are comparable to BYU, no QB on their roster, new coach coming in to turn things around, might be a good fit. Hate to see him leave the Y, he could have been great.

  • antiphonus Oxford, Oxon
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    4/4 Finally, I have no problem with Nelson's transfer. But you hold it up as implicitly moral, as a personal quest for greater challenges. On your account, Heaps's transfer suffers by comparison. In reality, of course, Nelson's decision was every bit as fraught as Heaps's. Wasn't Nelson running from a fight? Hadn't he been recruited by the home-town school in the (explicit and expressed) hope that he would help return Utah State to national prominence? Hopes in Logan were high that he would do just that, especially after his freshman season. He chose to run from that challenge to a school that already had a national profile (in your phrase). In other words, he decided to be disloyal (without putting too fine a point on it) in order to pursue his own best interests. Sounds exactly like Heaps, doesn't it? Heaps is an easy fall guy, especially after his various faits accompli (the one at Iggy's and the recent decision to transfer). But the instinct to lionize Nelson and to demonize Heaps by contrast is an unworthy one, and is beneath your generally fine reporting.

  • antiphonus Oxford, Oxon
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    3/4 You claim Nelson's transfer wasn't about PT, but had to do with the uncertain opportunity to play for a program with a national profile. I submit Heaps's transfer could be about the same thing. As even you concede, Heaps's likeliest route to significant playing time is to redshirt, and then have two years to shine. Instead he is launching himself into an unknown situation where he will be forced to sit a year and to learn an entirely new system. Is that running from a fight, as you suggest, or running to one? Couldn't it be that he understands (with that vaunted increased maturity) that his goals are incompatible with Mendenhall's? Couldn't it be that he feels ill-used, and to add insult to injury, ill-used in a setting that matters to him for religious reasons? The same competition, jealousy, cliquishness exist at BYU as exist elsewhere, but at BYU players are increasingly expected to put a happy face on things. Perhaps Heaps felt better competing at a place where a coach doesn't have an explicit preference for RMs, where a significant portion of the team hasn't disclosed that they play better for another QB.

  • antiphonus Oxford, Oxon
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    2/4 Heaps's brashness and enabled attitude make it easier to see him scapegoated. Perhaps. But to do due diligence on this story you should at least consider whether his transfer might be about more than fear of Nelson. (C'mon, fear of Nelson? He's beaten Nelson out for the job at least twice in head-to-head competition...) It seems reasonable that he sees the writing on the wall in terms of Mendenhall's love of Nelson and a soured relationship with Doman. Remember the early season when Doman couldn't even decide whether to sit in the box or stand on the sidelines to look into Heaps's eyes (Doman's quote, not mine)?

  • antiphonus Oxford, Oxon
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    I think this is slanted unfairly, Robinson. The fact is, Heaps was made to cover a variety of sins. Bronco has apologized (sort of) for his executive struggles at the beginning of last year and for the two-quarterback system. Doman has apologized (sort of) for his growing pains (ineptitude?) as OC early this year. But the ugly fact remains that it was Heaps who stood in the breach in both situations. The harm Bronco did in dividing the team last year was incalculable, and the divided loyalties clearly extended into this year with players including Ogletree and the Reynolds brothers bald-facedly telling the media they play harder for Nelson. (They should have been benched for that attitude). The problem was exacerbated when even Bronco obliquely and repeatedly disclosed that his preference was for maturity and grit, and that playing a freshman went against his instincts. Was that fair to Heaps, viz. a head coach willing to use him to save a season while publicly questioning his maturity?

  • twelvestringsam Orem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    I think this is a little over the top. A little harsh.
    Jake can do what he wants. In the end it will himself he can be proud of or ashamed of, not anyone else.

    Let him make the choice and live with the consequence. He'll write his own story.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    nelson and his family are no, way to ruin the future an run of a great talent. Doug you are in left field with this article.

  • Rexburg Reader Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:00 p.m.

    Transfer or not, to me the bottom line is he didn't get the job done during the ample time he had on the field. Frankly, he was in over his head this year. So he got replaced, and rightly so. So why all the concern about a non-performer transferring?

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:49 p.m.

    @Y Grad / Y Dad

    Just a little too smug to be taken seriously

    Stay classy

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:48 p.m.


    O'Neill Chambers packed up the contents of Jake Heap's locker and delivered them to the coach. I don't think he would have done that prank if he didn't feel like it would play well with his other teammates. It's pretty obvious that the team didn't like him, even resented him (fragile egos?). No one was sad to see him go and they wouldn't even play hard when he was in the game. Just look at all the dropped balls in the USU game prior to Nelson coming into the game.

    The taunt from Nelson's family seems very plausible. It had to have come from someone that knew her or at least knew who she was and was sitting close to her. That would have to be someone close to the team. An average fan wouldn't know who she was nor would they care about her reaction to her hubby being yanked. Only Nelson's family and friends would be tuned into that drama. Also, if it came from a random fan and not from the 'team', why would she refuse to go to anymore games?

    As soon as Riley Nelson threw up that weak "bomb" that fluttered to the wide-open receiver to keep the miracle drive alive, the coaches had their man and Heaps was cooked. The lucky tipped catch to win the game was just the icing on the cake.

  • Uncle Rico Coug AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    To Dustman and others who feel the same.

    The reason Heaps was not playing is because he missed receivers left and right and couldn't move the team and score--that's it. It's not because the system is not built for him. They run an offense like any other BYU offense in the past mostly through the air supplementing with 100+ yards rushing per game. Sure, when Nelson took over they have been able to take advantage of his running ability but that was not part of the original offensive plan.

    As nice a guy as Heaps is, he just doesn't have the tenacity, toughness and determination to do what it takes to help the team win. He was afraid to take a hit and looked like he needed to hit the weight room a lot more. I would prefer that he stay and redshirt a yr then he could start two years at BYU. BUT...he would need to get more accurate on his passing, get tougher and develop a greater will to win at any cost.

  • GJ Greenwood, IN
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    I agree 100% with the article. I'm sure that Heaps has a lot of reasons for wanting to leave, one of which may indeed be the apathy of his team mates towards him. He needs to realize that if he were to redshirt next year that two classes will have graduated, and the composition of the team will have changed dramatically. It would give him plenty of time to develop trust with current and future team members. John Beck suffered similarly with team unity issues when he was thrust into the starting position early in his carreer. By his last two years however, he was the leader of the team. I wish Heaps well at his next stop, but I'm not betting the farm on his success. He needs to talk less, and do more to show his team that he really cares. Tackling d-backs that intercept his passes would be a nice start.

  • JustTheTruthMan bountiful, ut
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    I don't see any benefit that Jake is gonna obtain by doing this silly transfer. Either way he sits out a year and the following season is a crap shoot no matter where he ends up. Well, here's hoping him the best in overcoming himself and becoming the man he was in high school while losing the laughing stock he was in college in Provo.

  • JeremyDetmer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Yes, Riley and Jake both transferred to another school, but the reason for their transfer couldn't be more different. Heaps was touted in a high school by the recruiting system. Scouts who evaluate talent and do their best to project success on the next level. Nelson, although an outstanding high school player, was judged as less of fit for college by the recruiting powers-that-be.

    Nelson committed to a program that promised him the opportunity to play QB. He succeeded there and a subsequent coaching change and contact from BYU while on his mission led him to IMPROVE his situation, based on his performance.

    Heaps committed to a program that could be a surprise to some considering his status as the #1 high school recruiting talent. A big fish in a small pond, if you will. His performance was not up to par, or at least he was asked to improve before he would be given the reigns. This was unacceptable to him and so he transferred.

    Nelson transferred as a result of his successes, Heaps is going after being benched. There is no indication of USU not intending to play Nelson, they would love to have him.

  • socalcougar! La Crescenta, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    Waybackcougar, you've misunderstood my comment and mistaken me for the other posters who think Heaps should be the starter. Heaps did play stronger competition. And Riley has played well against weak competition (TCU excepted, but that wasn't his best game). In the USU game Riley was great and inspiration, but don't forget that Riley's last pass was tipped and then caught for the touchdown. Was that a well thrown ball or just good fortune. I personally felt lucky to win that game.

    I have nothing against Riley being the starter, and by his play he deserves to remain the starter.

    But I don't find fault with Jake leaving the team nor do I understand our fanbase being so harsh and judgmental of Heaps leaving. Why the strong emotions from so many posters? Heaps and Doman don't click, and maybe just don't like each other. Heaps is no longer the starter, and he's moving on. Why stay for three more years at a place where you don't like your boss? Sounds like Max Hall leaving Arizona State to me, and we accepted him without judgement. Let's move on and hope that Jake does well wherever he goes. Personally, I hope he ends up with Mike Leach at Washington St. That would be fun to watch.

    And for those people who are comparing Heaps to Olsen, you have a short term memory or you are hoping that Heaps suffers several season ending injuries. Olsen's injuries are the reason his career was unspectacular, not poor play. And it certainly wasn't transferring that caused Olsen's career to turn out the way it did.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 7, 2011 11:50 a.m.


    Just a little too shrill to be taken seriously.

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Dec. 7, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    >Nelson's family taunting his wife at the game

    Myth alert!

  • manaen Buena Park, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    IMO, you accurately describe Heaps as running from a fight but you omitted other reasons he would transfer besides being shown-up by Riley Nelson:
    * being shown-up by Taysom Hill,
    * being shown-up by Tanner Mangum, and
    * being shown-up by the gamers already on the roster: Lark and Munns.

    He was looking at a quick trip south on BYU's depth chart.

  • WaybackCougar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    But, socalcougar, don't forget that it was Heaps' performance against one of those teams you are counting as lesser competition that got him benched. That's a game where you _can_ compare the two fairly.

    Dec. 7, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Ironman: 'allegedly' is a good word here. And if I remember correctly Jake was the starting QB so, no promise broken if that was indeed true. Bronco also 'allegedly' made promises to the other players that if they worked their tails off and played better than the person ahead of them, that they would be given a chance to play as well.

  • socalcougar! La Crescenta, CA
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    EdGrady, I agree with you. Like you, I see this as Heaps not liking his coach--Doman, and I get that. Maybe they don't click. Maybe Doman is learning his job and has made a few mistakes himself. He did move to the booth after the third game, so he could do his job better. Heaps bore the brunt of Doman's learning curve as a first year coordinator. Heaps also played the best teams with the one exception of TCU, and I though Riley was good but not great in that game. How would Riley have done with Doman's playcalling at the first of the year against better competitin we will never know, but it didn't hurt him to play significantly weaker teams the rest of the season (TCU excepted).

    Riley is now the starter, Jakes doesn't like his positiion coach, so he is moving on. The fans should also move on. I hope Jake does well wherever he goes. I can't find fault with anything he's said or done. We certainly had no problem accepting Max Hall after he quit on Arizona St. We are using Riley as our starting quarterback after things didn't click for him with Utah State. So we are people so upset at Jake Heaps.

    If he did nothing else for the team, he made a great effort to bring as much talent with him as he could. I liked Heaps and wish it could have worked out better.

    Go Cougars!

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    Bronco allegedly sat in the Heaps living room and promised Jake, Mom and Dad that if Jake came to BYU, he would be the starting quarterback.

    The media immediately anointed Heaps as the second coming of Young and Jimbo.

    Lesson to Bronco: Don't using promising a kid that he will be a starter as a recruiting tool if you don't intend to keep your promise. (And don't remain conspicuously silent while Doman takes the heat for your alleged broken promise.)

    Lesson to the media: Don't overhype a high school prospect before he takes his first snap, even if he is foolish enough to call his own press conference.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Interesting points. I would love to know what the locker room dynamics were as well as Heaps relationship with coaches. Maybe BYU is set to go with a mobile qb moving forward? I wish Jake the best unless he plays BYU and will be curious to see if a transfer works out for him. My guess in the end is parents/mentors who are too involved with Jake and that he has been coddled for too long. Not fair for me to judge, I don't know him or his family but that is my guess. Again, hope he makes it somewhere and I hope Nelson can stay healthy and that Hill is the real deal.

  • WaybackCougar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    So, Ed, you're saying you missed seeing those special teams miscues? I'm not saying Riley was perfect. But he was clearly not the primary reason we lost the game.

    And are you telling me Heaps would have played better? Yes, the backwards pass was ridiculous, but based on his track record Heaps would have thrown at least two interceptions and would not have moved the ball.

  • Lanius_lancii Vicksburg, MS
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Seems to me that the Cougars fortunes changed not only with the change in QB, but also a change in the quality of their opponents. I prefer Nelson as QB over Heaps, but Idaho State, Idaho, and New Mexico State are not Utah State, Utah, let alone Texas -- correlation (QB change) does not equal causation (softer sched). At least not entirely.

    Heaps is only 20, for heaven's sake. Cut him some slack. Hope he's successful wherever he goes.

    Awful article.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    RE: WaybackCougar
    Maybe I was watching a different BYU-TCU game than you, but from where I was sitting in Cowboys Stadium, I saw Riley Nelson throw two picks and a ridiculous backwards pass for a fumble late in the game that killed us. High-fiving the ref was cool, but heaving the ball into the air for turnovers wasn't so cool.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    Heaps lacked heart. It is that simple. His passion for himself was greater than his passion for football. As Doug points out, he has been coddled for years by his parents, qb coaches and a host of other enablers. I think the BYU coaches gave him every chance to succeed and he did not perform on the field. I think he would have benefitted from a redshirt year at BYU and would have had a great career here. I still think he will get to start, probably in the pac, and may even get a shot with an NFL team. As fans, we should be very grateful for the recruiting he did for BYU. Stout, Apo and several others might not be here but for Heaps.
    Tayson Hill, who is bigger(6-3, 215), faster(4.5 - 40) and has a better arm than Nelson(coming out of HS) will be on campus for Spring ball. He should be the next starter. After him is Mangum. If he does not work out, Kuresa is a Nelson like playmaker who is really turning heads as the Scout team qb.
    I think Nelson will have a very good season next year.

    Dec. 7, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    D'Anconia: I didn't read about his teammates handing the contents of his locker to the coaches (did I miss something?) I have read from several different sources that Nelson's family wasn't even at the USU/BYU game, and just speculating here (would like to get BD's side) but perhaps the coaches were ignoring him because of his intentions to transfer. He apparently commented that he wasn't going to play in the bowl game. That kind of info. would get back to the coaches pretty quickly.

    UU32: I think the man crush you speak about is the fact that Riley is willing to put forth the effort to do his part for the team, even if that meant playing on special teams, playing with internal injuries, playing with conviction, etc. etc.

    Also, the offense was built around Heaps. Doman was the coach who recruited Heaps. Sounds like just more sour grapes from a UTroll. What's with the "come after me!" I'm a man!" line? wow!

  • WaybackCougar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    The Riley that failed against TCU wasn't Riley Nelson. It was Riley Stephenson. And let's not forget to give a "worst supporting actor" award to his deep snapper.

    Riley Nelson played with his usual fire. Though he made a couple of mistakes, anybody that watched that game knows he made many great plays and was not the primary reason the team lost.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    Hey Doug - you make any life changing decisions at the age of 20? Were you mature beyond your years and beyond reproach? Did you take the tough way to build character with every turn? You just took things as a 17-18-19-20 year old with poise and a distinguished outlook? Give the kid a break. He thought he chose a place that would help him utilize his talent. It ended up that the situation didn't work for any of the parties. His teammates hate him. His Offensive Coordinator won't speak to him. His head coach is a bit of a head case and clearly has a man crush on the other QB. The offense has been adapted to match the OC's desires which don't match his skill set. What part of that would make you want to stay if you were in his shoes Mr. Robinson? This article seems more like pot shots from the cheap seats and an opportunity to just get clicks and comments. Bronco ought to go Oklahoma State on you -- "I'm a man -- I'm 40 -- come after me! I'm a man!" Cheap shots from a guy that has made a career of it.

  • D'Anconia Providence, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Oh what a wonderful environment it must have been for Jake Heaps in Happy Valley with teammates handing the contents of his locker to the coaches, Nelson's family taunting his wife at the game, and his own coaches ignoring him! So thatâs what you call a band of brothers?

    Well Riley. You're the man now. Let's see how you handle the pressure. You failed against TCU but then again that game didn't matter since your season was over by that point anyway. You will be expected to come out next year and run the table. Good luck. You'll need it...just like you needed it to beat Utah State.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Heaps is leaving because he doesn't want to play for Doman. Raise your hand if you left a job becaue you didn't like your boss and felt that your boss was holding you back. Thanks - you can lower your hands now.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:00 a.m.

    As a poster on another board said, he'd rather go into battle with the crazy man than the one with the shiny sword. Pretty much sums up BYU's two QBs, doesn't it?

  • Amorphous Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:50 a.m.


    Half correct; Riley did leave for a better situation.

    Half...huge assumption; Jake's situation may be better, may be much worse.


    Really? The RM card? Do you have any reasonable clue how many RM's sit game in and game out on that sideline without a scholarship, let alone a starting gig? No, you obviously don't. In fact, there are a number of them getting playing time into their junior and senior seasons without starting and without a penny of their schooling having been paid for by the Y.

    Nope. Riley is starting and staying for one simple reason. He has done a better job AT the job.

  • CalmDown Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:39 a.m.


    Actually this is to all who make statements like "if Bronco would have named Heaps the starter".

    What? He was named the starter before the season began. If anything, it was the worst thing that could have been done. What little fight he is capable of left him at that announcement.

    This departure timing was Heaps plan all along. He declared to teammates when he arrived then again as he was named the starter this fall that he would only do 2 seasons here before entering the draft.

    Plan changed. Timing didn't.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Spot on Doug. Heaps has to sit a year regardless. The Jim McMahon reference could have been repeated and Riley could have been a teacher to Jake about doing what it takes to win.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    Heaps is borrowing an entire chapter from Nelson - he's transferring just like Nelson did when he didn't like his situation. Why do you people have such hard time seeing that?

  • Amorphous Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    Part 2

    Riley has just wanted to play football. He has no desire to be the star, king, savior of anything, just play football. Would Heaps have, could Heaps have accepted or even received for that matter an invitation to play on defense? Be a member of the punt coverage team? Riley was and will ever be grateful for his scholarship, contribute to the football team with all his will and effort then move on to a successful career as a surgeon, with out the slightest self promotional gesture whatsoever!
    There is no comparison. I hope Jake Heaps learns that he is not the team, anywhere, for his own sake and the sake of the school where he lands. I suspect, however, that anywhere he could go may offer a tough row to hoe for many reasons including having the history lesson from this two year fiasco to learn from.

    Dec. 7, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    An article yesterday said that South Carolina may be interested in Jake.
    Being from Utah, I follow both BYU and South Carolina. I know that if Jake does come to South Carolina he will definitely have to earn the starting spot.

    Those who follow college football know that SC signed the #1 national HS recruit last year in Jadaveon Clowney. Clowney was not the starter this year. Instead, he played behind Melvin Ingram. He could have transferred and said that he was the #1 recruit and should be starting somewhere. He has learned from Ingrim and will definitely be the starting D-End next year. The Head Ball Coach will make Jake earn the spot and not just give it to him. I suspect that anywhere Jake goes he will have to earn the spot.

  • clintharris Saint George, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    Part 1

    For those who insist on comparing this to Riley's departure from USU, there is no comparison!

    Riley was on academic scholarship at USU, not football, and only proceeded with football upon request from coaches after the #1 QB was no longer eligible to play. Stark contrast with the red carpet, all star grand entrance Mr. Heaps experienced, not to mention his constant struggle with academic eligibility. So, Riley was asked to save a ship at USU vs. Heaps et al declaring he WAS one, regardless where he went. Without the exact words (but not by much) but with very similar fanfare, Heaps rode into Provo on a big, fat, white horse with "his talents".

    Before Anderson went to USU their program was a mess. At the very least there was no viable line, in comparison to the quality which BYU consistently recruits and nurtures, to protect a QB. The easy question is, which line would you rather have in front of you?

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:07 a.m.

    From my perspective, Doug got right.

    I have been concerned for Heaps since he was benched, not so much because he played himself off the field, but because he has never admitted that he did. He has never voiced any regrets, that I have read, that he didn't connect with his receivers better, on or off the field. He has never said he has learned from Riley. He has never refereed to his time on the bench as a time in which he has learned much of anything. He just doesn't seem all that concerned or interested in the rest of his team, and that has really bothered me. I hope the transfer lands him on his feet, but some lessons in life can only be learned the hard way.

    As for the program, it was designed for Heaps. They have had to adapt it for Nelson.

    As for love for the kid, BYU coaches went over the top to shower him with love, too much so. He should never have started.

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    THANK YOU Doug Robinson! Finally, somebody gets it! Jake is a spioled little kid and until he humbles himself a little and comes to realize that life isn't handed to you on a silver platter, he will be disappointed. I really do wish Jake luck! I think he would have been a great BYU QB in his Jr and Sr seasons. I think he made the wrong decission! But, I wish him the best.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    The article seems to portray the feelings of a lot fans. It resonates with me.

    As I look back on this small snippet of time with Jake as the leader I'm quickly reminded of one thing, his lack of leadership and communications skills.

    Each week we would see his immaturity exposed in the way he would communicate with the public and his team. It kind of reminds me of when the President and Vice President speak.

    I absolutely cringe whenever any of these two speak and I would often react the same way with the manner that Jake would take his responsibilities and say something in the media.

    Imagine a team doing the same thing to you and then you finally wake up and realize that your team doesn't really want to work with you.

    It would be great if Jake could work through these things and humble himself and stay. But not being the bigger man it's much easier to go where the grass is greener and hope that things will work out.

    An ego is a hard thing to control.

    Of course again I could be way off but my gut feelings say...

    Good luck Jake.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:38 a.m.


    They aren't loaded at qb? They currently have on the roster 3 top 25 HS qb recruits not counting Heaps. They have a top 30 coming in next season in Taysom Hill and the #2 HS qb recruit in the nation has committed in Tanner Mangum. Yes they are loaded at that spot with many options to find the guy they want as a starter for several years.

    I'm not sure what your definition of "loaded" would be but when you currently have 5 top 30 hs qb's either on the roster or committed to come I'm not sure how a team could really have much more to choose from.

  • Pugman TREMONTON, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    Great article, probably sums it up best. Oh and BTW, did anyone catch the press conference of the Wildcats hiring John L Smith yesterday. He said he was there to win a national championship. We will talk of winning a national championship and we will tell the nation of our intentions to win a national championship. We will also emphasize to our recruits that is our desire. Shame on coach Smith. To actually set so lofty goals. I guess it's only after you've set so lofty of a goal and then let's say ..acheived it, that it would seem normal to do that again. But then again....I guess if you've never won a national championship, or don't set such high expectations, it's just easier to mock those that do. That way we can feel good about ourselves. Man....I love my BCS membership.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    You're spot on with this one Doug! Jake has shown his immaturity with this decision. But I don't feel sorry for him or for BYU. He'll earn the consequences for this himself whether they are good or bad. And the cougars have plenty of talent coming in to replace him.. so much so that he won't even be missed.

    I really think he was afraid that he couldn't beat out the fresh talent coming up behind him and wants to be at a school without a history of great quarterbacks. Good luck to him.

    Go Cougars!

  • wtfhinutah SOUTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    The problem isn't just Heaps, also a contributing factor is Bronco's inability to make the correct decision at the time a decision is required. -Anointing Heaps the QB while he's still in high school -Naming dual starting QB's last year -Firing Anae -Making all coaches reapply for their jobs -Promoting Doman to OC .... what a joke!

    Make a decision when a decision needs to be made and not until. Try sounding less like a Sunday School Teacher and more like a major college football coach Bronco, and please .... a little less of your philosophy Bronco.

    To the Cougars credit, I think they've prospered in spite of their head coach. I don't see how the guy could motivate anybody to do anything and gimmicks really only work for the short term.

  • hammercoco ALAMOSA, CO
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    I think this article is garage out and obviously nothing in. What happened to the great offense from last year that was all back....was it true as reporting in the DN that the Nelson clan harrassed Mrs. Heaps...what happened to the dress code that Nelson was obviously allowed to ignore. Tell me who lost the TCU game.

    There is nothing wrong with Heaps leaving...I for one am sorry to him go....he brought excitement back to BYU football...while he was still in high school... that I have not seen in a while.

    I knew writers were fickle, but I had no idea so many BYU fans were.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:58 a.m.


    Really? Riley thought HE would never start again at USU, so he transferred to BYU? I have my doubts...

    I think he'll find a DII school that is competitive for the playoffs and be a big fish in a smaller pond. Montana or Eastern Washington come to mind.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    Jake's advisors may include some who are themselves looking for instant rewards as the hang on to his coat-tails...too bad he couldn't listen to someone like Lavel Edwards, Young, McMahon, Giff Nielsen, et. al.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    And what is wrong with that idea? I came to BYU 1979, I witness Mark Wilson (sr year), Jimmy Mac (jr/sr), Steve Young (jr/sr) and Bosco (jr/Sr). Why can't you with your future (jr/sr) with BYU? Good luck which you will need it elsewhere.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:31 a.m.

    Great article, Robinson is the Desnews best writer. Heaps had more opportunities than any QB in BYU's history. He started half the first game his first season and played in most of the games as a player. No other QB in modern BYU history has done that. If his main quality is a strong arm and he can't hit open receivers then how good is he? BYU's offense is much better under Nelson. Robinson hit the nail on the head, he could have redshirted next year and had the job as his own for one or two years. Now it will be up in the air.

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 1:03 a.m.

    "Heaps was 3A Riley was 3A..."

    Actually Skyline High (Heaps) was 4A his junior and senior year.

    Dec. 7, 2011 12:30 a.m.

    Even with jake leaving he has done alot for BYU and i need to thank him for that. He brought Ross Apo and some other players, he stepped up last year when riley went down, but most of all he raised the bar for Riley. if you look at how much Riley has improved over the last 2 years it is incredible and i think it is because he had a great talent to compete against so even though he wont be playing next year he still created the quarterback who will be winning games for BYU

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    It's been unfortunate all the way around. I've heard a lot of people saying that the BYU coaches blew how they handled this. Some feel like Heaps didn't get a fair shake and some felt like he never should have started so young. I agree that he never should have started so young, but many of you and the media would have been in a lather if this top rated kid wasn't started over Riley Nielson, especially if Riley didn't produce last year. Unfortunately, Heaps didn't have anyone to watch as a mentor. He would have been well served if he had someone like Max Hall to observe for a year or two before starting. I don't think ANYONE should start as a freshman at the QB position. Of course all of this is hindsight. I'm sure BYU coaches wish there could have had him hold the clipboard for a yr. or two as well. They were in a tough position. There are a lot of great backup QB's at BYU who do a great job, but never get the starting nod. Tough position to play at BYU. GO COUGS!

    Dec. 7, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    Well, what did you expect? First we have Vai Sikahema, David Loche, Brad Rock, Gordon Monson, etc, etc, ALL telling Heaps that he was tainted and his only real option was to transfer. There was not one Utah sportswriter that suggested that Heaps stick it out and redshirt. Now that Heaps is doing exacting what you all told him to do, you question his character. Sadly, this is what we have come to expect from Utah Sportwriters.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    I wonder what the coaches are suppose to do? It seems to me that two coaches totally mishandled things. Clearly, BYU prefers walk-ons to talented potential. Jake could see that under Bronco he would never start. I can imagine Bronco enjoyed pushing the kid aside and would have kept it up for the remainder of his time at BYU... afterall, Bronco has been a walk-on all his life. The problem with recruiting stars is that they have to be managed like stars... walk-ons are just greatful to be there and will put up with anything just to stay on the team. Were I a 4 star recruit I would think long and hard before coming to BYU. This hurts as I have been a fan for over 45 years. I have held season tickets for over 25 years. No more...if the coaches don't want to win...why attend the games.

  • scenic view Baltimore, MD
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:37 p.m.


    Riley didn't quit on anything. He simply took advantage of a better opportunity. If Jake had half as much competitive fire as Riley, he would have finished his career as one of the all-time great BYU QBs, right up there with McMahon, Young and Detmer.

    If Jake plays at his next school with the same lack of fire and competitiveness that he showed at BYU, he'll wind up his career just like he finished at BYU, watching from the sidelines, while another, probably less talented, QB, is out on the field getting the job done.

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    Poor premise Doug, but good try. Riley QUIT Utah State. no question about it. your argument therfore does not hold water. He bailed too. Let's talk about Troy Aikmen. He bailed on Oklahoma for UCLA. worked out nicely for him. Had Bronco ever truly named Heaps the starter instead of just saying he will be starting this game or that game then perhaps the team would have rallied around THEIR QB. instead the team was left to pick who they wanted. of course they would pick the RM older QB who's "earned his stripes by going on a mission" because he's "one of them" under the current RM culture that has been created at BYU football. you can blame this mess on BYU being BYU. independence is a joke. nothing to play for except an undefeated season cannot fuel a program. Heaps saw the lack of BCS access as a drawback for sure. We can see that Heaps is not being considered for WAC, MWC or C-USA teams. he's being considered by PAC-12 and even SEC teams (per media writings). Hopefully Heaps will get a real head coach, a real QB coach and be blessed.

  • restoman442 Springville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    all i saw from jake was overthrow, underthrow, no touch, deer in headlights looking qb. no field leadership. i've played with baseball pitchers who throw 100 mph but can't throw a strike, they don't make the bigs. he was not inspiring, riley is. remember tim tebow was never going to make it in the pros he is 6-0. good luck jake.

    Dec. 6, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Doug, finally some sanity with your article. Thank you. I've listened to sports talk show hosts today until I'm sick to my stomach prattling on and faulting the BYU coaches for not properly handling Heaps like a college football program supposedly should handle the "number 1 recruit in the country." Puke; give me a break. No freshman BYU QB in school history started more games Heaps did. BYU stuck with Heaps as the starter all this year until he performed so poorly in the Utah State game by all accounts, that he had to be replaced. Nelson rescued that game, period, exclamation point. The prattling talk show hosts today insinuated that BYU's coaches should have ignored Nelson's achievement and give the starting job back to Heaps the next week, "because, well, you see, Heaps was a blue chip number 1 recruit, and you have to treat them special, yadda, yadda, yadda. Again, puke; it makes me ill; such prima-donna pandering talk. In truth, these prattling talk show hosts were all too eagar to exploit the situation to look for an angle to once again dump on BYU. Thanks again Doug for restoring sanity to the situation.

  • rosethorn DAYTON, OR
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:45 p.m.

    Cam Newton switched schools and look where that got him.

    Heaps broke Detmer's freshman touchdown record and was MVP of the bowl game as a freshman.

    In the end, the Cougars wound up this year with nine wins and a bowl game after a major coaching staff overhaul, QB problems, and an average at best rushing game. That's pretty decent under the circumstances.

  • Jaspet03 LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    Patriot. . . your post is a joke, State you opinion but to say that you are amazed that Riley got a D1 scholarship. He was a parade all american with NATIONAL records... and as far as anyone wants to rave about heaps being the number one recruit in the nation... all that means is that his parents paid money to send him to camps and he looked good in the 7 on 7's he hasn't done anything at BYU. If I remember everyone talked about how the offense was tailored to Jake. Where ever he goes I hope they have the magical solution of recruiting an O-Line that will give him 15 seconds to throw the ball. Heaps is the best 7 on 7 player in the nation but as far as QB goes Im so sick of hearing about how bad Riley Nelson is when all he does is win and make BYU a multi dimensional offense. Heaps was 3A Riley was 3A and Utah is a better footbal state than washington...

  • FYI Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:31 p.m.

    @Rye Guy
    Jake stopped being a teenager on June 19, 2011 when he turned 20. I find it interesting that the comments now are that Jake just needs time to mature. However, the two things frequently mentioned when he began at the Y were his ability to lead the team and his maturity for a freshman.

    I would guess that he did seem more mature than most of the incoming freshman, afterall he was 19, the same age as many redshirt freshmen when they begin playing. Unless schools in WA are very different than most of the nation, a young man with a June 1991 birthday would have graduated in 2009, not 2010.

    I am only assuming that his parents decided that starting school a year later and being one of the oldest in his class would have not only academic advantages, but physical (athletic) ones as well.

  • idaho cougar fan Twin Falls, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    Jake isn't just transferring because he lost the starting job, he is transferring because he lost the trust of his teamates. Bronco has created a culture of hard work, playing for the team and earning ones playing time. Unfortunately Heaps did not give it is all, played for self (goal is NFL, not National Championship)and really never earned his time. This created a rift between the older more mature players and Heaps. It is hard for teammates to give you 110% when they don't think you yourself are fully committed. Heaps leaving proves he was not fully committed. I wish him and his wife well though.

    Dec. 6, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    Finally, an intelligent article about the Jake Heaps situation. I wish Jake the best, but believe he would have been better served by sticking it out. He now has to look for a team that will need a QB in 2013 .... isn't that BYU?

  • rosethorn DAYTON, OR
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    If Coach Mendenhall didn't like a recruit that was heavily hyped, he could have told Heaps "No thanks, pick a different program".

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Good Call!!! Sadly when you are immature, and have always been treated like a star it's hard to face adversity from this Generation. He has the "Everybody Get's A Trophy" mentality, and when it got tough he decides to transfer. Transfer to where? You have to sit a year anyway, and then you have to EARN the starting job. Here he would have sat a year, learned, and come back the following Season Heir Apparent with MATURITY and experience under his belt. Jake Heaps will be a footnote anywhere he plays because of this attitude, and it is VERY SAD, mostly for him in the long run, I feel for him, he needs to eat some HUMBLE PIE, and stay at BYU and do the right thing by the school, for himself, and for his FUTURE! This is going to be a bad choice for his Future, which if they include the NFL will be JUST THAT, "N.F.L."= NOT FOR LONG! He is really making a mistake, and he is showing his LACK of LEADERSHIP skills, something every Quarterback DOES NEED some of! This shows he has ZERO, ZIP, Notta! Big Mistake!

  • paperboy111 Lindon, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Ouch! Hey Jake, don't let the door hit you on the way out...But seriously, Jake's departure is just the latest in a string of famous BYU recruits, who didn't fit in with the BYU culture and system. Just one more sign that BYU will probably never be able to recruit the calibre of athletes needed to propel the Y to the top. LaVell, we never knew how good we had it with you!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    In the real world, including my job and probably yours too, if I can't perform or for whatever reason I don't perform, they get someone else who can! I wish Jake all the best but this is a man's world with harsh realities!

  • JD Tractor Iowa City, IA
    Dec. 6, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    Best question ever with the Heaps transfer goes to Doug Robinson!

    "Do you think he would be transferring if he still held the starting job?" That question cuts to the meat of this whole story and shines a light on the "entitlement" problem in college sports. Oh, the anwer is, no!

    Nice work Robinson.

  • kokua KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    Finally a voice of reason from the press, common sense and on target with the truth. Jake with his entitled, child like perception of the adult real world will continue to be his stumbling block.

    To bad that his inner circle of influence has lead him to this dead end.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    The issue is that Jake Heaps thought he would be an instant star. This happens to kids in high school, but when they move up to the college level there a lot of high school stars, and some may be better that you! BYU may have promised him the starting job, but at the Div 1 level you have to earn it. A great high school record and resume doesn't mean a thing when you then have to play with the big boys, and Heaps record shows he couldn't do it. Maybe in another year or two, for him let's hope so. For Mendenhall let's hope he has learned a lesson.

    Dec. 6, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    It's a shame Heaps couldn't just hang on in there. I was never impressed by his play this year. Not inspiring at all and I don't think the offensive team were inspired by him either. But when Riley stepped in, they seemed like a completely different team. Heaps seems to lack some key intangibles possessed by superior QBs. Hard luck Jake and I wish you all the best wherever you end up. Just make sure you get a degree in something worthwhile because I will be very surprised to see you make it to the NFL draft.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:27 p.m.

    I recall after the Texas loss reading Jake's quotes in the paper and being infuriated. Myself, and others in the fanbase, posted that they were so fed up with Jake's constant talk, but his exasperating lack of execution.

    I strongly differ that "BYU's offensive scheme" is the reason Jake was not successful. Doman knew perfectly Jake's strengths. He was his QB coach his freshman year. Jake had plays called that were there for the taking. Too many times, especially on third down, he couldn't produce. The OC can't make the read or throw for him on the field. Seems Doman is smart enough to now tailor plays to Riley's strengths.

    Early on this year, it didn't help that the running game couldn't get untracked, but the receivers were much better than the previous year. I believe fans and coaches desperately wanted and waited for Jake to be "the man." You can only wait on unrealized potential so long. The mishandling of Jake wasn't benching him, it was giving him the reigns too early and too often.

    Maybe they feared if he wasn't "the man" from the beginning he might have left. Ironic, ain't it!

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Dec. 6, 2011 8:07 p.m.

    Joe Flacco ran away from a job he lost, went to a D1AA school, and now starts in the NFL. Sometimes it's just about the coaching staff.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    This is the best article I have read on the whole Heaps situation. As a season ticket holder, I want the quarterback who can win to be on the field. I know that Nelson isn't nearly the quarterback in the practice facility that Jake is. I think that the difference comes when the green jersey is taken off. I will trust that Jake knew more about the situation than I do and leave it at that.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    great article!

  • loveless center valley, pa
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    Finally, an article is written that tells the truth of the situation!! After thinking about this for 24 hours, I too, am convinced that this is nothing more than a tantrum from a 20 year old spoiled young man who believed that he deserved to be the starting quarterback for BYU, period!! And now that he has been told that someone else has EARNED the starting job, well, he's having his little fit and he's taking his toys and going somewhere else! Sadly, he will have learned nothing from this experience that would serve him well in life either in football or in any other walk of life. You know, character building traits like perserverance, dedictation, commmitment, and sacrifice.

    Jake Heaps, nice knowin' ya!! Come back when you've grown up a little.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    Jake's dad likely has a lot to do with his decision to leave BYU. Remember Bronco talking about players and parents feeling entitled?

    Jake should have stayed at BYU as a redshirt next year, but if he still never figured out how to bring it on the field by then, BYU would be the worse off. As it is, BYU can move forward now with the incoming and current QB talent and not need to worry about whether Jake might finally pan out.

    Of all the comparisons between Jake and other BYU QBs, I think the best is with McMahon, who was crappy in practice and all-world in games, just the opposite of Jake.

    Dec. 6, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    anyone who argues otherwise needs to open their eyes. Jake needs to understand that a starting qb job is won. Sometimes the greatest talent needs to mature before seeing the field (steve young, aaron rogers)

    doug was exactly right by saying heaps and nelson's situations are different. nelson went from a freshman STARTING at a smaller program to FIGHTING for the starting job at a bigger one. If heaps was doing the same thing, he would be transferring from the starting job at BYU to fighting for the starting job at somewhere like LSU, Oklahoma, USC ect.

    I dont understand Heaps reasoning behind the decision, he MAY find a college program that will guarantee him the starting job, but we all know his goal since the beginning has been to play in the NFL. He wont find ONE team who will guarantee him a spot on the roster let alone the starting job. He will most likely regret this decision

  • dvk75 CLEARFIELD, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    And why would Riley and his family apologize to Heaps or his wife? They weren't at the game. Should Riley apologize for playing with more heart? I have always been a Riley Fan from his High school days. He makes everyone on the team bette, He never quits if his team loses you know that he gave it everything.
    Riley hasn't done anything except everything they have asked of him
    He was even on the kickoff squads cause he wanted to help the team anyway he could.
    Now you go apologize to Heaps wife if you think she should be apologized to I think it was a great move to replace Heaps in the game and from the reaction of the crowd so did 90% of the crowd. Good luck to Jake in the future but this wasn't his year and it was his own fault. BYU Football was fun to watch again with Riley in the game. It wasn't before that.

  • Ernesto de Bajo Albuquerque, NM
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    There are a lot of conclusions here based on assumption, speculation and bias. Here is my assumption and conclusion: Jake thought through the many considerations and issues presented in Doug's column and the comments here--and probably others absent here--and made a decision that he thought best. My job is to thank Jake for his contributions to BYU and wish him all the best for the future. God speed.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Y Grad / Y Dad

    Patriot can't make up his mind what he thinks about Heaps, because, to him, Heaps is nothing but a foil to be used to besmirch BYU.

    Jake was an arrogant, self-entitled, big-mouth, when he chose BYU.

    The kid couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time when he was BYU's starter.

    He was the greatest thing since sliced bread when there was talk of him transferring to Utah.

    Now that he's transferring to some other school, he's a great talent that was simply mishandled by BYU.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    You make some decent points, but you forgot to mention that McMahon was playing for some of the greatest coaches in college football--Edwards and Chow, while Heaps was playing for...well, lesser lights.

  • Chad S Derby, KS
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    Wow, Doug. Did you and the Rock Monster collaborate this week? Just another hack job tearing apart a kid for no good reason. I hope nothing but the best for Heaps and his family, and its journalists and fans like you that treat players like this that will drive recruits away. I hope you're proud of yourself.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin

    Kinda like hearing how Utah was going to cake-walk into the Rose Bowl?

    Sad thing is, after playing so pathetic, they were in a position to possibly do just that. Enter Colorado.

    Me thinks you doth protest too much.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin

    What Ben Olsen debacle?

    Ben Olsen never played a single down at BYU.

    Heaps, on the other hand, was given the starting job on a silver platter, but failed to produce.

    It's laughable that an avowed BYU hater would be giving advice to BYU fans about proclamations of greatness, when that's exactly what Utah fans have been spouting ever since Utah was invited to the PAC 12; wasn't Utah supposed to be playing in the Rose Bowl every year?

    Now, we have Utah fans spouting off about what a great QB Chase Hansen is going to be, after 18 months of bragging about how much better "access" Utah would have to the BCS championship game.

    The only reason Utah fans aren't talking about Heismans and NCs for Hansen is because Hansen isn't nearly as highly regarded as Jake Heaps or Tanner Mangum.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    Patriot, did Riley beat your kid in a high school football game? You maybe related to Jake? Invested in his future?

    I don't know, but you seem a little too shrill about Riley and too willing to turn a blind eye to Jake's actual performance on the field.

    Now I'll admit that this year's Jake and the Jake from the end of last year are not even close to the same player.

    Ah, well, we may never really know...

  • Bastiatarian TUCSON, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    With an image as a prima donna and a bit of a wuss, Heaps never earned the full respect of his teammates (the men), and lost what little he had with things like letting the Ole Miss defender take the ball Heaps threw to him to the endzone without a chase. I think he finally realized that he wouldn't be likely to get it back.

    >I want to know if anyone in Nelson's family apologized to Heap's wife.

    Why apologize for something that never actually happened?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    Sorry Doug, but this is not one of your better efforts. This article sounds like it was written from someone who was just jilted, not a journalist.

    You call Jake Heap's press conference "audacious" but you fail to mention that Ross Apo and Zac Stout, both still playing for BYU, joined him. Do you also level the same criticism at them? You also fail to mention that it was Jake Heaps' parents who arranged it, and have always said they did it to help recruiting for BYU. The purpose was to encourage other players like Ross and Zac to join the team. Give them a call.

    You suggest the most lofty of motives for Riley Nelson leaving Utah State. Didn't he abandon his teammates at USU for a better situation for himself? How is that noble? Sounds selfish to me.

    I always find the comparisons to Jim McMahon ironic. Yes he red-shirted when he was Jake's age. He was also Jake's age when he said the greatest thing he ever saw was "Provo in the rear view mirror." Are you sure you want to use the twenty-year old McMahon as a model of maturity?

  • WaybackCougar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    "#1 BYU's offense is not suited to Jake's abilities"

    Ummm... that would be because the offense that WAS tailor made to suit Jake's abilities bombed with him running it. No question that Doman and the new offensive staff had a learning curve but Jake's stats worsened with every game. If he had shown steady improvement he would never have lost the job.

  • DevilishUte Tempe, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:11 p.m.


    Heaps never beat anyone either. The only win he has on file against a winning team is against SDSU and that win comes with an asterisk.

  • JayDogg Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Robinson, you're still writing? I could throw up alphabet soup onto a piece of paper and read more interesting literature.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    I spent the time and money for two of us to attend the Texas game and I have to say that for some reason Jake Heaps had a tough time hitting receivers. BYU should have won the game easily and they should have smashed Ole Miss. I have observed that Heaps took all day to snap the ball and Nelson was gung-ho and got the play off immediately. When Jake did well this year is when they used a hurrry-up offense. There were admitidly some balls dropped by receivers, but there were numerous plays where receivers were wide open and Heaps over-threw them on the long ball, through a bullet with no touch on a short ball, or just plain missed the receiver. I'm convinced he lost his accuracy along with the support of his teammates. While Doman wasn't the sharpest new OC, Heaps still had plenty of chances to showcase his skills. Too many turnovers, too few long completions, too many false starts from taking way too long to snap the ball, etc.

    That said, I wish Jake and his bride all the best. And if people really taunted her during a game, shame on them!!

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    Just remember...Nelson has beaten nobody. Zilch. Never been a Nelson fan, and I want to know if anyone in Nelson's family apologized to Heap's wife. Cause they should have!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    After the Ben Olson debacle (where BYU fans were proclaiming that he would win a Heisman and lead them to a National Championship), I thought for sure BYU fans would learn their lesson and give it a rest. Then along comes Jake Heaps and the rhetoric starts up again, maybe even heavier this time.

    Now that the Jake Heaps experiment has ended, I hope BYU fans will finally learn their lesson and cool it with the proclamations of greatness.

    Will it happen? We can hope so, but somehow I doubt it. In February we'll be hearing about Heismans and National Championships for whoever the next QB coming into the program is.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Thanks, Doug. I wish Jake had the perspective to work through this--I believe it ultimately would have been to his advantage.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    @ patriot
    Who's Brad Anae? Do you mean Robert Anae? In two years we will have heard the last of Jake Heaps and his aspirations for the NFL. It was not Doman that caused Heaps to throw interception after interception. Face it, he has a great arm and was a fantastic high school quarterback but lacks the intangibles to be a great Div. I QB. His record speaks for itself. He plays well against patsies and chokes under pressure. I wish the kid luck but the reality is this article is spot on.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Best of luck to you Jake, wherever you go. Sometimes things just don't turn out like they should, or could in one place, but you achieve success somewhere else. You have a lot of talent and ability, and I wish you the best.

  • DevilishUte Tempe, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    I agree with Ted H. (might be a first).

    There is more to this than playing time. Even though Doman brought in a new system, Heaps knows the offense, the nomenclature, the BYU way of doing things such as practice, preparation, team rules, etc. What's more he knows the coaches, players, the campus, the area. To boot, he is in a good environment, getting a good education with a new wife.

    Why, then, would he leave this situation, knowing that he will have to sit out a year and re-learn all of these things with unceratinty as to whether the situation will be any better UNLESS there is something more to his transfer than playing time?

    And confirming this theory, I have a source inside the team that speculates that there is more to it than playing time. The source said that when Bronco told the team about the transfer he spent very little time on the topic and very few people on the team seemed to care. Hmmmm......

    That being said, I do believe Heaps will be successful in the right situation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Dumb article. Comparing apples to oranges. Heaps was one of the top freshman in the country coming out of high school and Nelson ... well I'm still trying to figure out how he earned a scholarship at a divsion one school. Of course any top talent isn't going to waste away behind some Tim Tebow look-a-like in Riley Nelson and all because his offensive coordinator doesn't run a traditional pro-style passing attack. There is no secret that Doman hasn't spoken to Heaps for months so why would Jake want to red shirt a year at BYU knowing full well he can't get along with the offensive coordinator. Heaps got along GREAT with Brad Anae. Heaps is making the right move and if he were my son I would tell him to move on ASAP!!! In two years we will most likely see Jake starting for a team in a BCS conference and setting all sorts of passing records. BYU will be a long forgotten memory.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    Well said Doug. Finally an opinion piece on this topic I agree with. I've thought about McMahon/ Wilson situation throughout this whole soap opera. Heaps would have had the job his junior and senior years. System, shmystem. Wilson, McMahon and Young were all very style qbs but they all fit into the "system." Heaps just needs to mature.

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    This article, and all of the others like it, have failed to report on the real story. Playing time is a quick and easy excuse and makes for lazy reporting. It is easy to say Heaps left because he lost his starting job, and yes, you would have to agree that if he was still the starter he would not be transferring, but this obscures the point. There has to be more to the story than just playing time. Look what has happened with BYU coaches this year. BYU has three new offensive coaches this year and Heaps bore the brunt of their learning curve, which seems to still be going. I mean, quick case in point, is that it took Doman 3-games to figure out that he should be up in the box to be able to call plays. Heaps started those 3-games and had to deal with that.

    I'm not making up another excuse, but just saying that there are two sides to every divorce and none of the articles that I've seen have looked at the other side.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Duckhunter they are not loaded with QBs. Even if they were it would not matter. BD can't coach QBs and the offense. Not anymore than BM can coach defense and the team.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Doug you're wrong. Ry Guy you're right. And Doug you got what you wanted - a story that will bring plenty of attention and comments. Good job.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    I personally don't care that he has left but Robinson made some good points. For one what makes Heaps think he will have a better opportunity elsewhere? He has to sit out a year whever it is he transfers to, so long as it is D1, so he won't be playing any sooner than if he stayed at BYU. That reason wouldn't make any sense.

    I think this must have much more to do with the rumors we have heard about him simply not being liked by a portion of the other players. I don't know him so I can't say what sort of person he is and everything I have ever seen of him would indicate he is a good, respectful, kid. But if the team itself simply won't get behind him then he probably realized he would never have the success he needs to get to the NFL.

    It's too bad. I never like to see people fail but this may be the best for him of course it is his decision. I wish him luck.

    In the meantime BYU is loaded at qb with more coming including the #2 ranked HS qb this year. Looking good.

  • Over the Top Rigby, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    Doug, your article is spot on!

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    It is laughable how Cougar fan has magically transformed. They enjoyed Jake's press conference and told us all how he would win the heisman and lead the Cougars to the National Championship. Now they say that he overdid things, his press conference was embarassing and he needed to be humble, he was imature and too full of himself.


  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Really Doug? Are you serious?

    Jake would not have played too much in this system, that's why he's transferring. Why should he stay in a sytem he cannot excel at? The kid hopes to go pro, not just learn life lessons.

    Doug, you're dreaming if you think kids play college football to build character. they play college ball to hopefully go pro or pay for an education. The kid can play. He showed it under Anae. He just can't play under Doman's system. There's nothing wrong with him trying for some other school that will help him excel.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    Re: Ry Guy "He is a kid! The dude is still a teenager." I couldn't disagree with you more, my friend. The dude is married, a full-fledged husband. I'm so tired of reading all the "kids" statements. Now the real question is whether he's a mature young married. The answer to that is a resounding no. Dude is going back to his QB "coach" who's doing no favors to Jake-- simply stroking his ego more and more.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Wish Heaps the best but I have to agree with this article.

    I watched one of the best QB's back up McMahon and never play. Royce Bybee. He was not only a great QB but a good man too. Can't say the same of McMahon who was a loose cannon. A good QB but not the best example. Royce would have done as well I am convinced with the program that was in place back then.

    I agree a year off to mature and start the next 2 would have been a good choice. Now it is a crap shoot and he may just sit behind another depending on where he goes. Could have a new QB come up and have a steller year at his next stop and then what take him out for Heaps. No coach is going to do that. One earned it the other expects it.

    Hope it works out for all parties involved but like a Mr Olson a few years ago we know how that ended up.

  • Packrat South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    So Did Riley "tuck tail and run" by transferring from USU? Now you praise him for being a warrior when he did the exact same thing Jake is now doing? Reality is that sometimes the program doesn't fit the player and it is in everyone's best interest for the kid to move on... You're obviously just trying to get readers here...

    Dec. 6, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    Come on. If any of us were in Jake's situation we would do the same thing. #1 BYU's offense is not suited to Jake's abilities. #2 It is obvious the coaching staff doesn't like him. let him go somewhere where the coaching staff does like him. He is a kid! The dude is still a teenager. Of course he's not going to have the same maturity as a grown man who is a returned missionary. I personally think he acted quite reasonably. I never heard one bad thing said about the University. I didn't see constant complaining when he got demoted.

    I do think it is ironic Doug Robinson uses Riley Nelson as his example.....a guy who himself transferred to find a better situation. BYU fans didn't seem to mind that Max Hall didn't "tough it out" at Arizona state when he didn't win their starting job.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:52 p.m.

    The more I read and think about the last two years, the more I am over Heaps. He has talent, but has shown no feel for the college game. Did the coaching staff have to make promises to start him early in order to secure him? If so, they won't be doing that again.

    I'm really tired of the fans who evidently have never played the game and who are blaming everyone but Jake for his situation. In the broader popular culture, celebrity and entitlement count more and more. In life and in sports (and especially in football, where if one guy really blows it, the whole team suffers), entitlement is toxic. If you need celebrities, go read about the Kardashians.

    GO Cougars!

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    Very insightful article! I couldn't agree with you more. It contained a lot of the same thoughts I've asked myself. I guess the only question I have about reading some of the articles coming out of the DN now is why didn't this same level of article come out before? This article would have been entirely appropriate when the "transfer" option was initially thrown out there. Now these "post-decision" articles by the DN just seem to be piling on before Heaps can even get out of town.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Dec. 6, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    I agree Jake has acted like a little kid, but I disagree its all about playing time. Had Jake redshirted next year, he would almost have been guaranteed the starting role for 2 years.

    Wherever he goes, he'll still have to fight for the starting job after sitting a year. Why would Jake think his prospects of starting in 2013 would be any better elsewhere as opposed to byu? I think it has very little due to playing time(for the reasons I state) and a lot more about ego.