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.


jhawkln 7 months, 1 week 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.


Brett McCabe 7 months, 1 week ago

Probably too late for this comment but anyone who lives within, say 100 miles of Lawrence, and who is not in the stadium tomorrow should have your cable privileges suspended. Quit whining and get your butts to the game!


Doug Roberts 7 months, 1 week ago

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


John Fitzgerald 7 months, 1 week 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 Cramer 7 months, 1 week 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.


741hawk 7 months, 1 week ago

Remember, he really wanted to be a Jayhawk.


texashawk10 7 months, 1 week 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.


jayhawkintx1973 7 months, 1 week 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?


Al Martin 7 months, 1 week 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.


notjustbread 7 months, 1 week ago

stupid century link in Colorado...not allowing ESPN3


iamakufan 7 months, 1 week 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."


Tony Bandle 7 months, 1 week 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".


clevelandjayhawker 7 months, 1 week ago

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


bradynsdad 7 months, 1 week ago

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


Robert Brock 7 months, 1 week ago

Slater has that Fresno State look written all over him.


Reuben_J_Cogburn 7 months, 1 week ago

Go do it, Heaps.

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


Jonathan Allison 7 months, 1 week 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.


Jim Stauffer 7 months, 1 week 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.


jhawkrulz 7 months, 1 week ago

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


Cmill1221 7 months, 1 week 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?


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