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Friday, June 13, 2014

QB Jake Heaps leaving Kansas; RB Darrian Miller, WR Andrew Turzilli also done

With 3 saying goodbye, KU lands commitments from 2 in Class of 2015

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps looks to throw to a receiver during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps looks to throw to a receiver during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

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After several weeks of Internet speculation about Kansas University quarterback Jake Heaps' future as a Jayhawk, word surfaced Friday that Heaps plans to transfer.

KU coach Charlie Weis said in a press release that Heaps was on pace to graduate at the end of June and planned to “explore other opportunities.” As long as Heaps graduates, he would be eligible to play at a new school immediately.

Reached by the Journal-World, Heaps did not reveal any details about his plans and seemed at peace with his decision to move on.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Coach Weis to play football and earn my college degree at the University of Kansas,” said Heaps in the press release. “My wife and I have truly enjoyed being part of the Jayhawk community. We have made lifelong friends through this experience and we will always consider ourselves Jayhawks.”

Heaps tore it up as KU's scout-team quarterback in 2012, and hopes were high for Heaps entering 2013. But an inconsistent offensive line in front of him, poor play at the wide-receiver position and his inability to escape trouble when plays broke down led to a disappointing season from the junior from Sammamish, Washington.

The arrival of new offensive coordinator John Reagan in the offseason gave Heaps hope for a bounce-back, but the veteran QB was beat out for the starting job this spring by sophomore-to-be Montell Cozart, who started the final three games of the 2013 season.

In his lone season at KU, Heaps competed 128 of 261 passes for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Also Friday, Weis officially announced the end of the career of wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, who indicated recently via Twitter that he was leaving KU. Turzilli graduated in May.

Despite their departures, Weis appears to have no ill feelings toward either player.

“I’m proud that both of these young men leave Kansas as graduates,” Weis said in the release. “I would like to thank them for their contributions to KU football and wish them the best.”

Like Heaps, Turzilli, who made seven starts in three seasons and recorded 491 yards and two touchdowns on 27 receptions during that time, also is leaving KU with a good feeling.

“I am extremely proud to have earned my degree from KU,” Turzilli said. “I am thankful for all of the relationships I have made during my time at Kansas and I wish the entire program nothing but the best in the future.”

RB Miller finished at KU

Former four-star running back Darrian Miller's second stint with the Jayhawks has reached its end. Weis announced Friday that Miller left the team for personal reasons.

Miller's KU career was plagued by personal issues that kept him from playing a full season.

First, former KU coach Turner Gill suspended Miller for the final game of his freshman season in 2011. Then, shortly after his arrival, Weis dismissed Miller from the team. Miller, a Blue Springs, Missouri, product was welcomed back to KU last summer, after a short stint at Butler County Community College, but missed most of the second half of the 2013 season while dealing with more off-the-field problems.

Miller, who made four starts during his two seasons with the Jayhawks, leaves KU with career totals of 881 yards and four touchdowns on 180 carries.

Juco duo commits

Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com reported Friday evening that a couple of junior-college recruits orally committed to join the Jayhawks.

Defensive tackle Jacky Dezir (6-foot-3, 305 pounds from the College of DuPage) and offensive tackle Jarek Smalley (6-6, 315, Garden City C.C.) both committed during their official visits to KU this weekend.

They become the second and third players in the Class of 2015 to choose KU, joining Bishop Miege High quarterback Ryan Willis.

Comments

Brett McCabe 6 months, 1 week ago

Darrian is so, so talented. I hope that whatever is hindering him gets worked out and that he can move forward in a positive direction.

For Jake, I wish he would have stayed, but I wish him well.

Best of luck to you guys.

Chris Bailey 6 months, 1 week ago

Who is gonna run the ball? We have Bourbon and Cox and then who? We only have 3 backs listed on the roster and only 2 that have a legit shot to play. I know we inked the JUCO RB but that still leaves us pretty thin.

Aaron Paisley 6 months, 1 week ago

So Traevohn Wrench has no shot at playing? Miller hurts the depth a little, but KU does have quality players at the position even without Miller.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 1 week ago

Corey Avery is also highly rated by some services. Best case though would be for the freshmen to redshirt while the jr/sr to carry the load for a year. Hoping for a breakout from Brandon.

Matt Tait 6 months, 1 week ago

DeAndre Mann has a chance to be, well, the man. He's very talented. Definitely will help fill the void left by Miller's absence.

Chris Bailey 6 months, 1 week ago

When I posted this comment I was looking at the roster listed on the LJW. None of those names were there so I got concerned. I still worry about Bourbon and Cox staying healthy. I think we have other more glaring concerns though especially reading over the recruitment list and seeing a few quality kids coming in.

Micky Baker 6 months, 1 week ago

That is because they haven't arrived in Lawrence yet. Two of them are in High School, and one was finishing Junior College.

Mick Allen 6 months, 1 week ago

Tom, are you aware that Mann is not a professional golfer, nor did he play in the US Open. Just showing your versatility as a sports writer eh Tom?

Armen Kurdian 6 months, 1 week ago

I have a feeling that Heaps is going to land solidly on his feet. He just didn't have a good enough supporting cast last season. Hopefully with a great final year he might be playing on Sundays somewhere.

Chris Bailey 6 months, 1 week ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Chris Bailey 6 months, 1 week ago

I just want to point out my comment was not from Armen Kurdian's post it was from a troll that obviously had his comment removed. Calling someone a D. Bag is not allowed even though it was true.

Doug Cramer 6 months, 1 week ago

Have no idea what's going on with Miller, but whatever it is I hope the situation gets better. That guy was impressive his freshman year.

Good luck Jake...you're a great QB in my opinion. The boys up front wasn't Big 12 caliber...and neither was your receivers.

Dirk Medema 6 months, 1 week ago

"Despite their departures, Weis appears to have no ill feelings toward either player. “I’m proud that both of these young men leave Kansas as graduates,” Weis said in the release. “I would like to thank them for their contributions to KU football and wish them the best.”" Classy on both sides.

Fred Davis 6 months, 1 week ago

I'm disappointed by the news of Darrian Miller - I watched him in High School and the kid was an absolute beast.... although Hazelwood Central defenders bottled him up in the state championship game... Either way, I want to be optimistic about this football season, but the Kansas football regime has devolved back into KC Royals-type status - but at least they're not a total embarrassment - right now.

Kansas football is as embarrassing now as it's ever been in the last 20 years and I would argue even more now than when Turner Gill was head coach. It didn't take long to figure out Turner Gill was out of his league. But Charlie Weis' smugness and attitude as if he knows something we don't is tired and played out. Why is it he's supposed to be an offensive guru yet I've seen Texas High School teams that are more imaginative on offense than this group. I'm staying cautiously optimistic because hey, what else is there at this time of year, not to mention I'm a fan of Ben Goodman from Beaumont... I want to see good things from this Kansas football team, and Reagan has done good things here before... Looking forward to September............

Micky Baker 6 months, 1 week ago

Turner Gill is still the reason the program is struggling, but they made some big strides last year on defense. Also, Gray-Little had a lot to do with this. She is the one that ultimately forced Mangino out because he "offended a few".

Your comment on the Royals, they aren't even close to being an embarrassment right now. They have a legit shot at winning the AL Central, and if you noticed they're only 1.5 games back. They're ahead of where they were this time last year by a good 5 or 6 games, which would have landed them in the playoffs last year. They have one of the best defenses, one of the best pitching staffs, and the potential to be one of the best hitting teams.

William James 6 months, 1 week ago

Anybody remember how smug Weis was when he recruited Heaps and the Notre Dame QB just a week or so after taking over? It's not about your first week, it's about your wins or lack there of(4).

Greg Ledom 6 months, 1 week ago

I don't get all the 'smugness' comments against Weis. Look, I get that he came in with some arrogant baggage, but don't let the 'tell it like it is' and 'keep it real' comments as smugness. Certainly, there are many who simply 'can't handle the truth!' All he has done since he's been here is reestablish a foundation of work hard, be committed, do it the right way, graduate players, etc. He's in his third year from a program that began to fall (recruiting wise anyway) in Mangino's last year to the farce that was Turner Gill (good man, bad coach) to the reboot that is the Weis era. Don't know if he will work out, but all he's done is try and make the program better by making changes, bringing in additional coaching support, stepping out of the offense, etc., etc. He deserves this year and next to see if he can affect enough change for us to turn the corner. Certainly time will tell.

Randy Bombardier 6 months, 1 week ago

Wouldn't be surprised to see Heaps end up at Washington State with Mike Leach's air force. Back close to home.

Thomas Young 6 months, 1 week ago

I fully supported Weiss' recruitment of Crist and Heaps. They didn't work out, but it was better than rolling the dice with who they had. Weiss has tried everything, and at some point, he may need to go. It's not working so far.

But I will never question his commitment to turning Kansas around, and he was willing to try any and everything to make it happen.

And yes, Gill was a problem. but the real instigator to destroying what Mangino had built was Lew Perkins. He undermined Mangino in an attempt to get rid of him, and in the process destroyed the whole program.

The sad thing is, I thought Perkins was a great hire, too.

So if folks had better options than bringing in Crist and Heaps or hiring Perkins at the time, then please feel free to share. In my opinion, they were good choices that failed to work out.

Jim Jackson 6 months, 1 week ago

Wouldn't be too concerned about Miller's departure; DeAndre Mann was the top ranked RB in the JUCO ranks this past year and turned down Miami to come to KU. He's from Miami.

Take a look at Mann's workout video on youtube; guy is a freak.

Jonathan Allison 6 months, 1 week ago

Not saying that we shouldn't be excited about DeAndre Mann, but I remember that he's not the first #1 rated JUCO running back that we've landed at Kansas. I hope that he works out much much better than "Mr. 2000 Yards"

Jim Jackson 6 months, 1 week ago

Haha I KNEW someone was going to bring that up

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