Friday, September 6, 2013

Jake Heaps has routines down

New Kansas QB ‘very superstitious’ about pregame rituals

Kansas quarterbacks Jake Heaps, front, and Michael Cummings (14) throw to receivers during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterbacks Jake Heaps, front, and Michael Cummings (14) throw to receivers during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Memorial Stadium.



Kansas quarterbacks Jake Heaps, front, and Michael Cummings (14) throw to receivers during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas University quarterback Jake Heaps has been through this whole thing before. Just not at KU.

From the time he was a promising high school quarterback at Skyline High in Washington to his up-and-down days at BYU, all of Heaps’ pregame routines have been nearly the same.

“For me, game days are actually really, really stressful because I’m very superstitious,” Heaps said recently. “Everything has to be done a certain way, from the way I put on my pants and the exact order (to) the songs I listen to and everything. I’m always making sure those things are right and on point and everything like that.”

Throughout the past several seasons — excluding 2012, when he sat out after transferring — Heaps has kept things pretty much the same during the final couple of hours before game time. That means the same songs on his iPod playlist, the same order of getting dressed, getting treatment and getting focused and, of course, the same butterflies that naturally come. The method works for KU’s junior quarterback, but even he admits that it might not be for everybody.

“Hopefully guys aren’t as meticulous as I am,” he said. “But that’s how I get ready for games. Sometimes I’ll switch up a song or two or something like that, but really I try to stay to that routine as much as I possibly can.”

Heaps kept his superstitions alive because they always led to pretty solid performances. In high school he became the No. 1-ranked quarterback in the nation, and at BYU he set several freshman passing records before leaving after his sophomore season. Heaps knows he’s facing a different set of circumstances at KU than he ever has before. But his standards — particularly for himself — have not changed one bit.

“A perfect game would be not having to punt or not having to settle for a field goal,” he said when asked about Saturday’s 6 p.m. season opener against South Dakota at Memorial Stadium. “Any time we get into the red zone we want to score. We don’t want to settle for field goals. We want to score and have a high percentage on third downs. When you do those two things, that’s gonna lead to a lot of success.”

As for whether he had picked out his playlist for the opener the way school children lay out their clothes before the first night of school, Heaps sheepishly confirmed his songs were selected, and his iPod was charged.

“I do,” he said. “I’m ready to go. But I’ll keep (the songs to myself).”

Slater listed at JC

It appears that the Pearce Slater saga may have finally reached its end.

Slater, the 6-foot-8, 340-pound tackle from El Camino Community College in California who reported to KU for a couple of days of practice in early August and then left to tend to a family medical emergency, not only is no longer on the KU roster but also recently showed up on El Camino’s 2013 roster online.

It seems Slater, who many believe will be one of the top offensive linemen in the Class of 2014, will play another year of juco ball before trying out his talents at the Div. I level.

In other roster news, cornerback Nasir Moore also is no longer listed on KU’s roster, but no word has been released about his absence.

TV clarification

For years, the section of KU’s weekly game notes labeled “Television” has included the relevant broadcasting information for that week’s game. But never before has the area been so large.

As KU prepares to roll out its first season of coverage on the newly revamped Jayhawk Network, people throughout the state — and even many parts of the country — continue to wonder whether they’ll be able to see Saturday’s game against South Dakota. The TV section of the game notes attempts to clarify that by listing the providers and even the channels showing the game.

It includes: Time Warner Cable – Ch. 30 (310 Digital); Metro Sports HD – Ch. 1310; Comcast Ch. 68 and 258 (Kan.); Comcast Ch. 44 and 258 (Mo.); Comcast HD Ch. 913; Cox Kansas 22; WOW Lawrence – Ch 37. The notes also indicate that out-of-state viewers can pick up the game on and through the ESPN Game Plan.


KU’s men’s basketball players will sign autographs in the Hy-Vee Hawk Zone from 4 to 5 p.m., Saturday outside Memorial Stadium. One item per person will be allowed in the line.


Cmill1221 7 years, 1 month ago

Thank god for my Xbox and the ESPN3 app! I guess Slater is finally gone. I will be curious to see where he lands next year. HCCW has been open to guys returning, I wonder if he would keep the door open for him to return next year. I'm not holding my breath, it's kinda $hi-Tay that he left the way he did. Even if you had a true family emergency, isn't it still common courtesy to tell your coach or the school that was going to pay for your education that you won't be returning?

John Myers 7 years, 1 month ago

I'll be pretty shocked if he doesn't end up at OU. What a bum, family emergency or not.

Brandon Pope 7 years, 1 month ago

Or he may end up back at KU after a year of work and focus on his family. Let's reserve judgement since we really know nothing about the circumstances. The kid can't just take a year off so if he got home and realized he wasn't going to make it back to his team, it's only natural that he jump back on his old roster.

John Myers 7 years, 1 month ago

It's the complete lack of communication that leads me to call him a bum. I'm pretty sure if he was clear about what was going on, Weis would have let folks know. I understand stuff happens, but don't just split and quit communicating with your coach.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes but do we really know that? Weis may not have said anything. I hope he comes back. We need big physical O-linemen. I wish him the best and hope he ends up back here for spring ball! Rock Chalk! Lets get a win tomorrow so we can see this team in action! Can't wait! Get em on D Stowers and Heeney!

namohcan_99 7 years, 1 month ago

It appears there was no communication to Weis per his reaction to questions on Slaters' departure. Sounds to me OU picked away our player even though he already signed his financial aid agreement. This is just dirty. I'd be shocked if he comes back to KU at this point.

littlerichard 7 years, 1 month ago

Slater, you skipped out on being part of this year's Big 12 championship team, you dope!

hawk316 7 years, 1 month ago

The situation definitely could have been handled better, but in our current culture not everyone is adequately schooled in the finer points of social behavior. But I agree with Jaydoc, we don't have all the information, so we should cut him some slack.

Jaydoc is also correct in suggesting that Slater may yet end up a Jayhawk. It seems like Coach Weis is a man who is willing to give individuals a second chance (ala Darrian Miller).

Cmill1221 7 years, 1 month ago

Well... It wasn't a big enough emergency to keep him from enrolling back at his Juco. If he could do that, he could send a text.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 1 month ago

I would almost be scared to hear some of the rituals that some of the Ku fans have.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 1 month ago

Well whatever they are they didnt work 11 times last year.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

The rituals for the KU fans were, leave and get drunk at half time, and then pretend like they deserved for KU to beat Texas at home or Oklahoma State, which they probably would have if the fans had stayed and made it difficult for either of them to get calls to the wide outs or to change the play at the line of scrimmage.


nuleafjhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Now that you mention it, I don't have any superstitions about football. None. I just sit down and watch the game.

Basketball is a different story. My wife is going to write a book some day about the weird rituals I have during basketball season. Even the exhibition games.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 1 month ago

I used to have these wetstone coasters with Jayhawks on them. One day my ex wife walked in and I was sitting on the coffee table (closer to the TV) with the coasters all lined up exactly even and the Jayhawks all pointing exactly the same direction. She just shook her head and walked away. She may have also called me an idiot. She never understood. Just another one of the many reasons why she is now my ex.

My current wife on the other hand...

Ryan Shelton 7 years, 1 month ago

Rituals are so important. During the '08 National Championship game against Memphis, I started walking figure eights in my living room, and BAM! we started our comeback. I kept it up during Mario's 3 and through overtime. My buddy, a Vandy fan who was supporting me that night, took footage, and I'm sure it's probably on youtube.

If I would have stopped to use the john, we would have lost, so KU family, you're welcome.

KGphoto 7 years, 1 month ago

Not once did I go to a Misery comment thread and call Chase Daniel a booger picker. NOT ONCE! Why are you here?

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 1 month ago

On Slater, I would bet he simply recognized his current inferiority to the players already on the roster and knew he would not start. He then goes back to juco to better prepare for next year. But if he is intimidated at KU, he will never amount to anything at OU, that's for sure.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

Hopefully Heaps' pregame routine returns him to the success that he had in HS. It kinda sucks that the game is so late tomorrow. I'm gonna be jonesing for kickoff all day. Although I always have trouble with the ESPN3 broadcasts and usually miss about half the game due to connectivity issues.

KGphoto 7 years, 1 month ago

0 fer 2. Don’t stop now, you’re on a roll!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 7 years, 1 month ago

Go do it, Heaps.

And don't you dare "Dayne Crist" us.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 7 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate the shout-out, ralster. But you've got it wrong. It's really more of a meme.

It's called "Cristing," and it generally involves the choice between two different things.

1) Stand in one spot for a really long time until someone hits you.

2) Play catch with someone no more than 10 yards away, and throw the ball 20 feet above their head.

It doesn't quite have the national flair of Tebowing. But had he been here two years.....who knows?

Ron Prichard 7 years, 1 month ago

I appreciate Ralster's sentiment that its not nice to bash former KU players regardless of how well (or not) they played, but I have to admit, this is absolutely hilarious.

Robert Brock 7 years, 1 month ago

Slater has that Fresno State look written all over him.

Rivethead 7 years, 1 month ago

LOL. I tend to agree. I think the kid is just one of those types that can't be too far from home. No shame in that. I wish him the best of luck.

bradynsdad 7 years, 1 month ago

I have Direct TV in Wichita, does anyone have a channel it might be on?

Dirtyphog 7 years, 1 month ago

I have direcTV in Lawrence and wondered the same thing.. I checked every channel for Saturday at 6 and came up with nothing, if you find anything out keep us posted.

KGphoto 7 years, 1 month ago

Although I don’t see it listed tomorrow, I’m in Colorado and sometimes I get games on a series of regional channels on DirectTV. From about 650-700 there are regional sports. Most are Fox channels. You might try FSMW (midwest) Doubt it helps this week though. I’m going online to watch and dialing up Bob Davis on TuneIn Radio.

peter56321 7 years, 1 month ago

It won't be on DirecTV at all. In Wichita, it is only available on Cox.

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

Channel 792 if you want to pay for Game Plan. You can buy the game for $24.99.

clevelandjayhawker 7 years, 1 month ago

If you live in KC and have to watch eveything Jayhawks your only option is time warner?

kckuguy 7 years, 1 month ago

That is right, if you live in KC like I do then you will not be able to watch. The new KU TV Network is TWC. I can't believe that KU sold out to a cable company. At the same time KU is trying to sell KC as a KU town. How can that be when most people in KC won't be able to watch the Football or Basketball games ? Those bill boards look kind of stupid now about KC being a KU town. This is something that MU would do, I thought, not KU. Somebody at KU either is stupid or got their hand greased. Just think, we use to raise hell when the local network would lose the TV signal for a minute. Someone needs to investigate this. I don't know why I am so upset, evidently KU doesn't care about you or me anyway.

Pitthawk34 7 years, 1 month ago

Agree....Never would have thought living in KS I would be forced to have to listen to the on the radio. Complete BS. Thanks Z, now go back to mancrappy. These blackouts that are coming will turn away tens of thousands here in KS. Way to go Z.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 1 month ago

And Comcast. Or just about every sports bar in town. Or your friend down the street that gets TWC or Comcast. Or actually going to the game.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 1 month ago

The only ritual I hope to see from Jake is seeing him jog off the field at the end of the game with his index finger pointing to the sky ala Joe Namath in Superbowl III indicating victory.

PS I answered the Petsmart Google Question, "macaroni".

John Myers 7 years, 1 month ago

My favorite question that I've seen so far wasn't so much the question, but the answers. "Do you own/run a personal or small business website?" And the answers were: Yes, No, Not Sure. I really want to meet someone that isn't sure of the answer to that question.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

I kinda hope Jake isn't wearing pantyhose though.......

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't care if he wears a thong and sings I'm a little tea pot before every snap if we win.

Steve Reigle 7 years, 1 month ago

Maybe someone could update the "next game" section on the kusports home page to show the mentioned TV info. At the moment, all it says is "Jayhawk Network."

KGphoto 7 years, 1 month ago

KUathletics has it listed in depth.

notjustbread 7 years, 1 month ago

stupid century link in Colorado...not allowing ESPN3

KGphoto 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, can’t understand that one.

Century Link sucks (Rain Man voice)

Al Martin 7 years, 1 month ago

Just in case it's relevant to anyone, the Jayhawk Network / Time Warner deal has made games available in Austin that weren't prior. I can get tomorrow's KU game on the ESPN Game Day package. It costs money, but before, games like this were completely unavailable.

kckuguy 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm glad that you live 750 miles away and you get the game. I live 20 miles away and I can't. And Ole KU couldn't care less.

Ron Prichard 7 years, 1 month ago

Go to a bar! If you really live in KC then there are probably 20 in a 10 mile radius that will have the game on. In addition to TWC, Comcast customers get the game. If you have a friend that gets either one of those networks, go hang out with them.

When I first read your comment, I was sympathetic, and I still am to a degree. But when you state that Ole KU couldn't care less, that actually irritates me. As a fan, we all want KU to cater just to us, and anything that affects us personally becomes of the utmost importance to us. KU does care about its fans. But it cares about its students more. Specifically, the athletic department cares about its student athletes more than it cares about you or me, and that is exactly how it should be.

The new TV deal, although it may inconvenience some fans, provides greater exposure for all KU sports than ever before. That exposure should generate more revenue, more interest in the university as a whole, better recruits, and believe it or not, even more fans. The result, hopefully, is better teams with a better national brand. Which in turn leads guessed it, even better recruits, more national interest, more revenue and even better teams. If you want KU to be a national brand and compete with the "big boys," then you should like this deal, even if you will not be able to sit on your couch and watch one football game and four regular season basketball games. Those are your opportunities to go support a local bar or hang out at a friends house.

Or better yet....go to the game tomorrow! I'll be there even though I have Comcast and could watch it at home. I'm sure there are reasonably priced tickets still available. And if you really want the truth, its the fans that buy tickets that KU really cares about.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Same thing with my dad. He lives in outside of Austin, Tx and likes to watch the Longhorns ( hey, it takes all kinds ).

They won't broadcast the Longhorn Network where he's at, but I can watch it here in good ol Kansas. Yippee.

Chris1955 7 years, 1 month ago

Most of Houston cannot get the Longhorn Network. I will be able to see the Jayhawks on Game Day via Direct TV. Most of Houston can't view the Astros or Rockets either due to their idiotic deal with Comcast. Although not being able to view the Astros games might be construed as a public service.

7 years, 1 month ago

"Although not being able to view the Astros games might be construed as a public service."

Well played! :^)

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

I got a little something to say about sports fans in KC. The Royals, their 4 or 4.5 games out of the last wildcard spot, but when I see the stadium half full... this could be an indication that you're not good sports fans.

It was like this a month ago when the Royals were something like 18-4 since the all star break and had closed to gap down to just a .5 game out of the wild card race, the fans still didn't show up. What's up with that?

If KU home games sold out... you know what? You'd be able to watch the games!

The other carriers will eventually pick it up because the Jayhawk fan base is one of the largest, if not the largest during basketball season and can you imagine a carrier missing out on 35 or 40 games just because... you blame it on KU and not them?

texashawk10 7 years, 1 month ago

I know this isn't a basketball article and I know Braeden Anderson never played a minute for KU, but he was seriously injured in a car wreck last night apparently in which someone was killed.

741hawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Remember, he really wanted to be a Jayhawk.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 1 month ago

Also had a 2008 National Championship Game superstition. My freaking cell phone started lighting with three minutes left in the game...because everyone wanted to vent to me about how we were gonna lose. I couldn't answer the phone...just couldn't do it. After a little discipline to not vent....we came back and won.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 1 month ago

During that tourney before each game I'd have a bowl of green chili, a beer then captain and cokes for the rest of the game. I NEVER answered my phone except for commercials because it was usually my Dad, who's also an alum calling. He knew when to call. Rock Chalk

John Fitzgerald 7 years, 1 month ago

Anyone see this article on Jordan Webb?

Wouldn't expect him to be involved in a fight. Oh well, not our problem anymore. Go Heaps!

Doug Roberts 7 years, 1 month ago

The "Jayhawk Network" excludes many, many Jayhawk Alums and fans in the Kansas City area. %&#*@!!!

Micky Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

At least that have the means, the time, and aren't prevented by employment commitments on a Saturday. Most are not impeded by that, and most can make it if they want to.

Still, if the students bail out at the half, they don't deserve a winning football program.

Seth Nesmith 7 years, 1 month ago

If you want the KU game that bad with satellite, go buy a xbox, get gold membership for one month $10 or year $50 and watch on ESPN3.

Pitthawk34 7 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the info...problem is that it should never come to that. Guess cable has to do something as satellite is so much better at least with the cable companies i have had in the past. So no blackouts with xbox? Game plan has us blocked out. I'm just pissed having to figure this all out. Thanks Z. Our 2nd choice.

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