Looks like this is the second year in a row that my projection of true freshman quarterbacks will be wrong. Last year my prediction was that Utah's Jordan Wynn should redshirt and then battle for the job in his second year, and that almost worked out. Most recently I made the same assertion toward BYU's Jake Heaps in that if he is not the starter he should redshirt.
However, it looks like Heaps is the leader so far this spring to become the opening day starter against Washington next season. Bronco Mendenhall has said that the competition will go through fall camp due to the lack of healthy offensive lineman the most recent injury coming to Famika Anae who tore his ACL.
In the most recent two-minute drill Heaps conducted an 83-yard touchdown drive in a going perfect on his seven passes that culminated with a touchdown. Senior defensive back Brian Logan is impressed with Heaps maturity:
"I think just his poise," he doesn't seem like a freshman at all. He seems 10 steps above the game, maybe that he's a junior or a senior. He doesn't carry himself like he's a freshman, and I think that's what makes him stand out."
Logan then tries to stay neutral with this:
"I'm not too sure yet, but I would just say that Jake stands out to me the most. I think his poise and his attitude make him stand out."
The coaches really like Heaps as well and Bronco actually makes a candid statement that leads an inkling that Heaps will be the starter in the fall:
"It's hard to remember sometimes that he's a true freshman. He's a true freshman that's practiced with us five days. For him to be performing the way that he is, I've been very, very impressed. Not to say James and Riley aren't doing a good job. To me, just the thought that he's a true freshman and five practices in the spring and he has the poise and the confidence and execution that he has so far has been impressive."
Quarterbacks coach Brandon Domain adds to potential lore of Heaps:
"He can drop back and launch the ball around the field, which the other two guys can't quite do it the way he does it. But they're still pretty adequate that way," said Doman before noting that the hype surrounding Heaps' recruitment was warranted. "I would say every minute in recruiting was worth it."
One note worth mentioning that there have been only two true freshman quarterbacks to start at BYU who were John Beck and Drew Miller both had terrible starts, but those were out of a necessity. The official decision will be made in the fall but all signs point to Jake Heaps being the starter, so no pressure kid since BYU will not dumb down the offense:
"There's a lot of things we put on the quarterback. We're not going to decrease that for him. We'll still expect him to do all those different things that we need to happen for this offensive scheme to work."