Wednesday, December 26, 2012

High hopes for Jake Heaps

QB establishes himself during year off

Kansas redshirt quarterback Jake Heaps looks to hand off to running back Tony Pierson during the first half of the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas redshirt quarterback Jake Heaps looks to hand off to running back Tony Pierson during the first half of the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field.



Kansas University quarterback Jake Heaps (9) warms up during practice on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.

With the Kansas University football team struggling to keep up with West Virginia and the disappointment of the 2012 season ticking away quarter by quarter, minute by minute, the unofficial beginning of the 2013 campaign was under way.

Back home in Lawrence, as he watched the 59-10 loss on television, third-year sophomore Jake Heaps sent his thoughts about plays, performances and the future to KU coach Charlie Weis via text message. Weis referenced the texts in his postgame news conference, and, by the time the Jayhawks returned home, Heaps had become the team’s leader.

It was a role Heaps had waited an entire season for, one he practiced, pictured and wondered about for months.

“Learning this particular offense and getting to know coach Weis and what he’s like and what he expects from you, I think that’s a huge deal,” said Heaps, the former BYU quarterback who transferred to Kansas last December to play for Weis.

Weis, beginning his second offseason in charge of the Jayhawks, recruited Heaps out of high school and has known for a while what kind of quarterback — and leader — the 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior-to-be from Skyline High in Issaquah, Wash., would be. It’s the rest of the people associated with KU — from teammates and coaches to fans and foes — who have yet to truly see what Heaps can do.

Don’t count KU’s defensive coaches in that group. They saw it a little too much during 2012, when Heaps led KU’s scout team.

“The defensive staff would be delighted not to see any more of Jake Heaps,” Weis said. “Because every day in practice, he just tore them up. He really performed at a very high level.”

Some have high hopes and believe Heaps will be the guy who finally leads the KU offense back to something that resembles the point-scoring machine it was under record-setting quarterback Todd Reesing. Others are more skeptical, partly because they don’t know Heaps yet and partly because of the failed Dayne Crist experiment that plagued KU’s quarterback position during 2012. Heaps is ready to show both camps what he can do.

“In no way, shape or form do you want to shy from expectations,” Heaps said. “You want expectations to be really, really high, and you want to meet those, and you want to go beyond them, but that can’t be your concern. Your concern has to be working as hard as you can, being the best teammate, being the best player and hopefully making the team the best it can possibly be.”

Added Weis: “Most people in (Heaps’ position) would have wallowed away in anonymity. Not Jake Heaps. He was grinding from the day he got here. He’s been nothing but a positive influence around here. If I asked the players to vote for their favorite player on a team, he might win it without having played. I’m not going to anoint him as the second coming. I’m just saying that’s where we are right now, and that’s a good place to start.”

It has not yet been determined whether Heaps will be KU’s starting quarterback heading into the 2013 season, but he certainly appears to be the heavy favorite and already has started acting like it. He looks the part, has been an active participant in KU’s offseason recruiting haul and even carries himself with a different bounce than he did in the shadows.

“Jake’s a great player, a great teammate, and I’m excited to see him compete,” Crist said. “I think it’ll be good for him to finally be eligible and be able to do some meaningful stuff. He can be a very special player.”

That’s the goal, of course, but Heaps is more than willing to let things play out naturally. After all, Heaps said he would not have changed a thing about his time in Lawrence thus far.

“It’s been fun to sit back and gain perspective on what it’s like to be here, what it’s like to be a Kansas Jayhawk and where I fit in with this team,” he said.

As for the pressure that comes with manning the most important position in Weis’ offense, Heaps is more than up for that.

“That’s the fun part about it; you run the show,” he said. “As you go the team goes. That’s why I love the position.

“You guys will get to know me a little bit better, but I am a very competitive guy. I love every opportunity that I have to go out on the field and get better. There are no gimmicks, no special way to get it done other than competing, having fun and working hard.”


Doug Roberts 9 years, 6 months ago

Cautiously, very cautiously, optimistic.

Steve Quatrocky 9 years, 6 months ago

Hoping that Crist was our Josh Selby and that Heaps is a Ben McLemore. Having the talent AND a year of preparation before being thrown into the fire should produce much better results.

Terry N Tom Denner 9 years, 6 months ago

Can't wait for the 2013 season to start. With a year under his belt Heap should be another Todd Reesing under center. Plus by having better WR 's will also help. Go Jay Hawks !!!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Guessing Heaps will bemore like the first year of Todd when we had dependable backs in the running game, but without a pair of NFL draftable WR's. It would be fabulous if Coleman, Hyman, and another WR or 2 step up big, tho I think all Jayhawks would be willing to settle for even just a few TD's.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Don't forget about McCay and Mark Thomas. ESPN scouts said Thomas "has quick feet and a quick surge off the ball" and "is a reliable target with soft hands." Thomas runs a 4.4 40 and was also recruited by WVU.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

The scouting report on Coleman is that he plays fast, runs crisp routes, and he gets good separation, but he also has the size to go up and get the 50/50 balls.

BigXIIForever 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree! Hopefully the year to sit, watch, and get hungry creates another McLemore Effect.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 6 months ago

I understand and agree but it's unfair to Josh Selby. He had to miss out on the early practices and games and then battled injuries. I think he should have stayed for a second year and then we'd have seen what he can do. But that's a topic for another time.

connhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. Selby clearly had talent, but he suffered had setback after setback. He definitely made a big mistake by going to the NBA after such a lackluster season, but the fact that his one season was bad wasn't really his fault.

I still think he has what it takes to contribute in the NBA eventually. He absolutely destroyed the summer league this year.

hawk316 9 years, 6 months ago

Excellent analogy, KUGrad1983, although I also appreciate iamakufan's helpful input (if ONLY Selby had stayed one more year!!!). It's hard not to get excited about Jake because he seems to have the right makeup and skills to be successful. But, as we all know, it doesn't all fall on one player, even one who mans a position as critical as qb. Any quarterback, no matter how talented, has to have the pieces around him to be successful: a solid line, good receivers, a strong running game, a good offensive scheme, etc. We already have the running game and offensive scheme. Let's hope some of the other pieces will soon be in place.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

We had a good running game... But the the passing offense was so offensive that when we got down a td or 2 we were down and out. O-fer on pass TDs really brings out that statistic.

yates33333 9 years, 6 months ago

Not all great QBs come from Texas, just most. Let's hope Heaps is the best in country next year. It's time someone outside Texas was.

amatxjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Ah hell, go ahead and be full bore optimistic!! We've got a lot of good things going on right now and there are enough half empty, negative, naysayers around to give balance per se. (Pun intended) If you don't go on the field believing you can win, why play the damn games. I'm eager to see these guys put together some wins, I'm believing it's going to happen, and I'm picking the Jayhawks every time they step on the field. Not only that I'll be staying the the very end of every game I attend. Piss on the naysayers.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Sayers is negative about what's going on right now??

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Or naysayers as in "Nay, (as in not including) Sayers"? So did your quote mean Sayers is negative on the team/Heaps? Or did you mean Sayers is a naysayer on the negative (as in he thinks KU can do it? He usually kept a positive outlook so I'd be surprised if you heard differently)?

Please elaborate... I find it interesting as I'm a Sayers fan and was raised with my Dad talking about him my whole life while growing up in Chicago.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 6 months ago

I think that you're right in inferring that when atx refers to naysayers, the intended meaning was just anyone who is negative toward KU football. The "naysayers" rant was not intended to be directed at the Comet himself, nor at the anonymous poster who uses his mighty nickname "The Kansas Comet" for whom the pun was intended, but at anyone who is actually pessimistic about KU Football.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't know if you're being serious or not, but just in case--naysayer is a word for those who always respond negatively, those who always say nay. It has nothing to do with Gale Sayers.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

Hmm, I thought he meant "neigh sayers". You know, like horse whisperers that always say "No"...

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Ya it was a joke, however the naysayer definition was something I didn't expect. I'm not a Mizzou grad!/ was going off the "pun intended"/ made a sarcasitic quote... Anyways. I'm also optimistic and am excited for our team this year. I really do think we improved in the areas we Really Really needed to (with the exception being the WR's, we really need them to come through- although im hoping a Heaps-McCay 5 star chemistry as well as them building confidence on the scout team will help). However, I still..., Can not ignore: THE ST A T That we didn't record a WR TD, even in garbage time? I'm still baffled, and am thinking if that improves (and by improves I dont mean a Turner Gill type improvement of 0 TDs < 3 TDs, (or in TGs book a 28 pt L is < a 21 pt L) and a few of the JUCOs (on each side) pan out we can actually be effective next season. C'mon KU!

redlegger 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm guessing that amatxjayhawk was making reference to ah"perse"coachingexperiemce, and not Gale Sayers.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

That was one of the dumbest comments on any thread I have seen in a long time.

amatxjayhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

naysayer -- One who frequently engages in excessive complaining, negative banter and/or a genuinely poor and downbeat attitude.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

The young man definitely has a high power arm on him. At the spring game last year I recall thinking that I've never seen someone get a ball to a receiver near the sideline as fast as he does (and i had Chiefs season tickets for 17 years.) I also recall a leisurely looking roll out where the ball traveled about 65 yards. Lets hope he's accurate and that he has a decent group of receivers to throw to.

I'll be reasonably optimistic and predict 5 or 6 wins next season.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

I will say that I will be optimistic yet again. Although the B12 is a brutal conference... I think we can weasel out a 3-6 conference season to become a bowl team, granted we don't con ourselves out of the 3 non-con games... (pun intended)- ya like that?


You heard it here first.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

I think we have a chance to do even better than that. The WV QB that played back up, he played terrible, doesn't look like he can move. Baylor coming to Lawrence along with Texas Tech. We have a shot at Texas on the road, I don't care about their 5 star kids, they didn't show they had the attitude and they were flat out pummeled by OU worse than than OU pummeled us, and KU is going to be the only team that will be significantly improved in 2013 from this year.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

We should beat win our non-con games, and TTU at home, Baylor at home, WVU at home, KSU at home, and ISU on the road will be winnable games.

Lucas Town 9 years, 6 months ago

I like your optimism, but we will not beat KSU for another couple of years. Baylor and WVU will be very tough and ISU will be as well. Those programs are established and getting better. KSU will be tough because Snyder makes us their biggest game of the year.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

KSU loses Klein, Meshack Williams, Aurthur Brown, both starting CB's, Harper, Tuggle, and Milo, and we play them at home. We'll be way better and they clearly won't be as good. We had the lead on them in the 2nd quarter before Tony Peirson got hurt. It may sound crazy after what happened this season, but that's obviously a winnable home game.

All those Big 12 games will be tough, but considering what happened this past season where we nearly beat Orange-bowl bound NIU, OSU, Texas, and TTU with no passing game whatsoever and terrible kicking, it's obvious all those games I mentioned will be winnable if Heaps is as good as Weis says he is and he gets help from a couple WR's.

kellerman411 9 years, 6 months ago

Am I the only one who finds it a tad bit weird that Heaps was texting Weis during the game? I understand that CW wasn't checking his phone and texting back during the game but I still think it's weird.

KU79 9 years, 6 months ago

What's weird about it? I thought it was cool, but I'm an old fart that texts a lot during games. Not to Weis, of course, but I might if I had his number. :-)

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

Definitely not weird. I find it more weird that he wasn't AT the game so he could hear Weis coaching the offense in a game situation. Maybe he could've even asked Weis some questions. It seems like an invaluable experience to me.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, didn't really know what the rule for transfers and sidelines was. I do think it's good that he is in communication with Weis during or directly after the games though. Definitely a good thing.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

You're only allowed to bring 75 players on road trips in the Big 12 and Weis didn't even bring that many on more than a few occasions this year. Watching on TV gives a different view, and probably better, for being able to observe what's going on on the field than being on the sideline.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

True, but he has game film for that. I'd still rather have him on the sideline if it was possible, to hear the game being called. To talk with Crist or Cummings about what they just saw on the field. Right as it happens. I don't know, it just seems like a no-brainer if it was allowed.

integritycounts 9 years, 6 months ago

Staff should do Heaps and our fans a favor and dont "Dayne Crist" us again with the hype. Both these young men seem to be great people, competitors and teammates. However, both got beat out of jobs at their previous schools. There is a reason they are here....they were not productive enough at their previous institutions. We do these kids a great injustice to assume they are going to turn around our program. Our scout team making our #1 Defense look bad is not necessarily a proclamation of greatness..... this defense made McHargue of Rice and Zenner of South Dakota St. look like all americans and dont forget ISU first time starter Richardson went 23-27 250yds. and scored 5 TD's he would have been in the Heisman hunt had he played aginst our defense every week. Lets hope for the best but expect the expected a hopeful upgrade to Crist and Cummings.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

Good points, but with the exception of an injury it was the exact same situation for Crist at ND. Coaching change followed by a scheme change. Pro style to a spread. It wasn't Crist's specialty. etc.

From my seat the only real differences are the health of Heaps knees and the fact he gets more time to adjust to everything at KU, including establishing rapport with a few key receivers a year in advance.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Great points. And a very realist view. Insightful as well. I still tend to err on the side of optimism, however... Perhaps watching too much KU hoops!?

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

"Riley Nelson" is correct, but you did forget to mention that Nelson also was the starter Jake's first year before he was injured, so the injured starter (Sr?) was just returning from injury his soph year.

Not sure how "major freshman passing records" is the exact same as Dayne's scenario. Oh, that "except" also, which translates into there are some similarities. The real question is whether you want to focus on the similarities or differences.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Well put, integritycounts.

You are absolutely correct.

Lucas Town 9 years, 6 months ago

integrity - "Our scout team making our #1 Defense look bad is not necessarily a proclamation of greatness....." and what is even more depressing the scout team tries to run the opponents offense. So the scout team can learn an opponents offense in 3 days and beat our #1 defense but our #1 offense can't learn Weis' system in 9 months and beat anybody. Only time will tell if Heaps can win more games. The declining production at BYU has me nervous for next season. I don't care if the offense changed or not you are still playing football. I will say we win 4 to 5 games in 2013. Probably 4.

bad_dog 9 years, 6 months ago

It appears to me the problem with the offense lies with execution in the passing side of the scheme; not whether the players learned Weis' system. Nothing wrong with the running game, we just need quartebacks that can hit a receiver and receivers that don't drop accurately thrown balls.

An accurate place kicker with a strong leg would have gone a long way toward winning a couple more games as well.

Lucas Town 9 years, 6 months ago

True, and from the sounds of it we have a kicker on the way. We are appearing to be loading up on the defensive side of the ball. Hopefully receivers will step up this next season. If we could have completed a few more passes, just a few more per game I think this year would have been a surprising turn around from last year. This year the team was clearly better, the results were not.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Does CW say that the scout team beat the #1 D, or just that the D coaches were going to be glad they don't have to face Heaps anymore. Crumble goes the argument built on a mistaken foundation.

Lucas Town 9 years, 6 months ago

7th paragraph - “The defensive staff would be delighted not to see any more of Jake Heaps,” Weis said. “Because every day in practice, he just tore them up. He really performed at a very high level.”

To me sounds like he scrimaged (performed) against the #1 D in practice. If he was playing against the coaching staff, then we shouldn't be getting our hopes up. If he was performing well against the #1 D, then there is a reason to get excited.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Tread lightly, my friends.

The only thing that hurts worse than watching an awful team play a dismal season on the field is watching every heart of an entire fanbase break, not simultaneously, but one by one; slowly over the course of 12 weeks.

Beware the Kool-Aid.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 6 months ago

Mmm Fresh cold Kool-aid, with a touch of rum lol. It was the first year in the system and for the most part we were competitive this season. The QB situation didn't pan out, the receivers were a mess, but the D played admirably if you ask me. Weis brought in lots of guys who can play now and historically he can recruit. This year with what should be improved talent we will see about his coaching because improvement now needs to come in with wins. Mmm, another glass of Kool-aid.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 6 months ago

Heartbreak? Please. I am a lifelong Cub fan. I know heartbreak. The last couple football seasons have been disappointing. Not heartbreaking.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed. I see you are an optimist as well?

qringer 9 years, 6 months ago

Wow!!!!! How do you get up every morning?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Phog -

The upgrades are on paper only. We assumed we had several upgrades last year. Until they prove it on the field, they are additions. And by adding these players, you only increase the odds that one of them will be worth anything. So I can't agree with your "upgrades across the board" comment until we see proof.

Boulder -

I am sympathetic to your Cubs fandom. Good point. However, my comment was really more directed at the fact Weis and his staff pumped us full of so much hope and optimism.

and in the end....things got worse.

Having that year's worth of excitement ultimately wind up as a huge let down....that's a shot to the gut. And every fan felt it.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Things were better, just the record was worse.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

No moral victories. The only stat at the end of the day that matters is the W-L record.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, but life is a lot easier and much more pleasant being the glass half full guy than being the guy that's always bitching and looking for the negatives in everything. How many people actually enjoy being around the person that does nothing but complain and gripe about everything?

Mick Allen 9 years, 6 months ago

Whether the glass is half empty or whether the glass is half full is irrelevant if you're thirsty and have no doubt, KU football fans have a 3 year thirst.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

You have a point, texas...

...but consider my pessimism specifically targeted at KU football. You would be shocked how pleasant I am in most other facets of life.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Or you can look at it this way: if we had Heaps and Eric Kahn, we probably would be 6-6 with wins over Rice, NIU, OSU, Texas, and TTU.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

even worse yet is to wallow in a sesspool of pessimism.

Stephan123 9 years, 6 months ago

Skyline High School is in Sammamish, Washington not Issaquah.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

I am a glass half full kind of a guy but KU's football glass has had a hole in the bottom of it for awhile now.

I think that hole has been plugged and the glass is filling.

AAALLLLAAABBBOOOAAARRRDDD the Kool-Aid Train!!! I got dibbs on the caboose!! :)

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

I trust your judgment, Oakville. Please, please teach me how to be an optimistic Jayhawk Football fan.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's an example of optimism for KU football next year. In 2011, KU, was only a handful of plays away from being a bowl team even with Gill's incompetence. A 20 point lead against Texas Tech, a 21 point 4th quarter lead against Baylor, close with Iowa St. the whole way, and they beat Missouri with any kind of offense that day. That's 4 near misses for a team that won 2 game that year which equals a bowl game if KU wins those games.

Last year, even with KU's complete lack of a passing attack, they were again just a handful of plays away from being bowl eligible. Last second FG against Rice, 4th quarter lead against NIU, TCU was close the whole way, one more possession against OSU and KU wins that one, KU should've beaten Texas, and KU was very close to beating Texas Tech. That's 5 near misses for a 1 win team so with those wins, KU would be bowl eligible again.

KU should have an improved defense because there should be a significant upgrade in the DLine talent next year and KU will also have the same defensive coordinator as the previous year for the first time since 2009 and will run the same defensive scheme as the previous year for the first time since 2008. I don't many people really understand just how much better KU's defense will get just by having consistency on the staff and with the scheme. That consistency alone will make KU's defense much better than it has been over the past 5 years because players will actually be able to focus on getting better this spring instead of learning a new system with new terminology.

That's how you be optimistic, and Oakville, if you got dibs on the caboose then I got dibs on the beverage car.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

The downside is half the JC's won't be here til summer, so they'll be needing to learn the entire D in 1 month, especially the DB's. It certainly is nice to have at least the 10 early JC players.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Good stuff, Texas.

And you're right about all of it. It's just these "should of"s, "if only"s, and "almost got 'em"s are starting to take their toll on me mentally.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

Nobody can teach you that. You have to change your attitude first.

bigtex 9 years, 6 months ago

Heaps will be an excellent pocket passer. We all know the offense starts with the big guys up front. If the offensive line gives Heaps protection the passing production will be excellent. Defenses will have to honor our running backs on run plays, this will give Heaps play action capabilities that will also help the passing output.I believe Heaps has all the tools as a pocket passer, I don't know anything about his scrambling ability. I hope he has a great year. Go Jayhawks

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago Heaps mobile? I honestly have no idea.

QB mobility is a huge part of the game today, and one of Crist's detrimental incapabilities. I know the kid (Heaps) has an arm, but can he run if necessary?

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

He's not mobile in the sense that he's going to scramble for 500 yards, but because of his size, Heaps has to be mobile enough to find passing lanes similar to Reesing. I know Boouk wants to compare Heaps to Reesing because Reesing played for KU, but Heaps and Reesing are nowhere near the same kind of player. For a better comparison on style of play, think more along the lines of Drew Brees and if Heaps is even half as productive as Brees was at Purdue, then KU will be in good shape offensively next year.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Getting production anywhere near as effective as Drew at Purdue would be amazing. It would mean a quality bowl game in '13 and the Fiesta Bowl in '14. And yes, Drew had a fairly mediocre supporting cast around him. BB on grass would be fitting at KU also, tho our RB's are way to potent for that.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Matt Tait said Heaps is more mobile than Cummings, who's fairly mobile himself, so expect Heaps to be about as mobile as David Ash.

Savion Havon 9 years, 6 months ago

Heaps isn't close to Cummings in mobility you look at his film and see that. I am curious to see if the spring game is a true competition or if its scripted like last year. I say quit holding kids back with play calling. And let's get the best qb on the field the team the fans the school deserves that

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

According to the coaches, he's the most mobile QB on this team.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

They think Heaps is more mobile than Turner Baty?

Savion Havon 9 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to see 40 times Matt can you get that

mikehawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Optimistic. Pessimistic. Kool-Aid. Over-hyped. Tears it up in practice. Doesn't matter. He is the only game in town so let's go with it and see what happens. Not like OU where they have a stable of gifted quarterbacks fighting to take the place of Landry Jones. Sadly, the player who will probably get the job next year at OU went to high school in Kansas.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Just like Charlie. Whether you're convinced or not, the man is our coach right now. And we can only deal with what we've got.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Some reasons why I think Heaps will almost as good as Todd Reesing

  1. He broke some of Steve Young's passing records as a freshman
  2. QB's coach Ron Powlus back in the spring said Heaps had the best mechanics, throwing motion, and accuracy of all the QB's on KU's roster
  3. Matt Tait said back in The fall Heaps is more mobile than Cummings and Crist
  4. He'll have a way better running game than he ever had at BYU

I'm not saying he's Seth Doege, but I think he'll be a Big 12 caliber QB and our passing game will be significantly improved.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Call it, "Some reasons why I think Heaps will be good."

Don't compare him to Reesing. The kid was fearless and could scramble. Reesing could create plays with his feet. He was a spread quarterback, and a darn good one.

Heaps is a pocket passer, pro-style quarterback, and already proved that he was inept once a system was implemented at BYU that would force him to run.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Heaps can make plays with feet. Just because you play in a pro-style offense doesn't mean you can only beat the defense with your arm.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

Jake Heaps and Todd Reesing are two pretty different QB's. A much more accurate comparison in regards to style of play is Drew Brees. Yes Heaps has some mobility, but that is an absolute must if you're going to be a QB at 6'1" because Heaps has to move around a little bit to find open passing lanes. Todd Reesing is the greatest QB KU has ever had, but he was a scrambling QB. Jake Heaps is a passing QB who can buy move around a little to find passing lanes which is also how Drew Brees plays.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Texas, I did that comp. because I think Heaps will be by far KU's best QB since Reesing. I agree with your Brees comp. as to how Heaps will have to play to be successful, but we all don't expect Heaps to be that good. For a comparison regarding both expectations and style of play, I'll go with David Ash.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

If Jake Heaps is as bad as David Ash, KU is screwed and wins 2 games max next year. How bad of a QB do you have to be to struggle to get Texas to a bowl game? No I don't think Jake Heaps is as good as Drew Brees, but his talent level is good far better than David Ash and is at a level where he could be better than Drew Brees. If you want a good benchmark for Heaps next season, Joe Southwick at Boise St. would be a good one. Boise St. had a dominant running game this year with DJ Harper (who went to the same HS as I did) and Southwick was more of a game manager type QB who could lead a drive when needed, but Boise St. was dependent upon DJ Harper to the same extent that KU was dependent upon Sims and Pierson. If Heaps plays as well as Southwick has this season, KU will be in good shape for the next two years. If Heaps plays like David Ash, KU's going a third straight season without winning a Big 12 game.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

Outside of the KU, OU, and TCU games Ash was good this season. I meant the Ash against everyone they played this season besides those 3 teams. If KU had the Ash against everyone but KU, OU, and TCU this past season we would've beat Rice, NIU, and TTU and probably OSU and Texas too.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

David Ash only had 3 good games (Miss, TTU, and ISU) this year, 5 were average, and 3 were bad and he missed the KSU game with an injury. Those 3 good games also came against teams that finished 7th and 9th in a 10 team league and 5th place in a 7 team division. Realize that I do live in Houston and hear about UT football on a near daily basis and there are very few fans who think David Ash is anything more than a below average QB and a below average QB at KU equals 3 wins or fewer seasons at KU. Average QB's win 10 games at UT and reach bowl games at KU. I'm done debating this because there is no chance in hell of you convincing me that David Ash is anything but a crappy QB that Mack Brown will bench at the first sign of a competent QB on roster and if Jake Heaps plays like David Ash next season, KU wins 2 games max and goes winless in the Big 12 for a 3rd straight season.

cableboy764 9 years, 6 months ago

Off topic....Looking for a KU perspective...Any thoughts on expansion? Specifically thoughts on Colorado St. joining the conference. This is still Big XII country here in Colorado, it would be nice to have a rooting interest again. I think the conference should strike now while the getting is good. We all know that 16 team conferences will become the norm at some point. The Big XII should be proactive rather than reactive IMO.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Personally, I wouldn't mind. But I don't think the conference, if they do consider expansion, would look that way.

Probably looking east.

cableboy764 9 years, 6 months ago

You're probably right. They'd almost have to to get to 16 teams anyway. Just not enough as far as sizeable schools out West to fill the void.

texashawk10 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't think it'll end up being 4 16 team conferences. I think the end game ends up being 5 conferences between 12 and 16 teams and that we will end up with an 8 or 12 team playoff and between 68 and 72 teams plus Notre Dame. Colorado St. is not worth adding to Big 12 because they will devalue the conference. Colorado is the only school in Colorado worth adding, but that isn't happening. BYU is the only school out west that the Big 12 could add that doesn't devalue the Big 12's TV contract, but that doesn't appear to be an option in the near future either. I agree that the Big 12 should be proactive and get to 12, but there aren't many good options out there to add and the Big 12 isn't going to add teams for the sake of adding teams at this point. I do think the Big 12 is legitimately interested in Florida St. and Clemson, but I believe they are waiting for the outcome of Maryland's lawsuit before proceeding in that direction. I don't know how the divisions will be split up, but this is how I see the next generation of conferences looking like.

ACC: Boston College, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke, Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Syracuse, Virginia, and Wake Forest. I know Notre Dame goes here as an affiliate member, but they won't join as a full member unless they're forced to so by losing their NBC contract.

B1G: Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan St., Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio St., Penn. St., Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin.

Big 12: Baylor, Clemson, Florida St., Iowa St., Kansas, Kansas St. Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, and WVU

PAC 12: Arizona, Arizona St., Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington St.

SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miss. St., Missouri, NC State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech.

I also think that at some point, we'll see Boise St., BYU, Fresno St., and San Diego St. move into BCS conferences. I also think it'll end up being Boise St. and BYU in the Big 12 and Fresno St., and San Diego St. in the PAC. Without these 4, we'd be at 68 teams + Notre Dame and with these 4, we'd be at 72 + Notre Dame. That's how I see this round of conference realignment ending up. I do think Cincinnati is an option for the Big 12 and if that happens, then switch Cincy and Clemson. I also think East Carolina and Temple are in play for the ACC at some point, but I don't see that happening though.

Bee Bee 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope Jake is good but I can't get Crist and how awful he was out of my head.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Regardless of what any outcomes, I have to admit that Weis has done his best to recruit what we need. He gave D and O Lines tremendous focus, and there is potential for some of these D Backs we have coming in. The receivers, at least from a height standpoint, could provide an upgrade as all.

Whether any of that will pay off on the field is yet to be determined. There's a lot of "paper potential" in this incoming group.

But at least he gave it the best shot he could. We'll wait and see.

Al Martin 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. It's nice to see the recruitment focus on building this team from the lines outward. No guarantees on results, but the focus seems to be correct.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Dang, did someone spike your hooch with some kool-aid? That's prit-near optimistic.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 6 months ago

Crist suffered injuries to both of his knees, Heaps has no injury history. I look for him to tear through Big 12 defenses next year.

Bee Bee 9 years, 6 months ago

Dan Marino and John Elway had bad knees too. They did okay. Just saying.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Agreed, phog.

As much as I want to fault Dayne Crist for being awful this year, it is overwhelmingly unfair to make a Marino/Elway comparison.

I love a good ol' fashioned ribbing, as many of you know, but that's a little weak.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

2 players from Hutchinson Juco are going to commit to Kansas. I don't know their names yet, but it appears one offensive and one defensive player from the 12 rated NJCAA team.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

They're both walk-ons from what I understand. One of them is a kicker, and he had second-team honors.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

The other is a 6'3 307 pound center.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

Too bad it isn't Toby Johnson (DT) and Stewart (WR).

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

This is really insane to dwell on Crist. First, let's take a look at all the poor passes opposing QBs made, but their receivers made adjustments and caught the ball any way. Geno Smith had a lot of terrible passes against us, but his receivers adjusted to the ball and made plays. We had a lot of passes our guys had both hands on and dropped, at least 5 or 6 in every game. That's significant, and it stalled out or offense at times.

KU will have to be able to pass on first down at times this season, IMO.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

Not being able to tuck it and run...overshooting wide open receivers in the endzone or on fade routes...forcing passes into coverage resulting in stupid interceptions...not throwing the ball away when necessary and taking costly sacks.......

That's just to name a few problems Crist possessed that had little to do with his receivers. Did they have something to do with his overall abyssmal numbers? Absolutely. But Crist was responsible for most of the offensive ineffectiveness while he was the starter, and arguably cost us three wins (Rice, NIU, and TCU).

We "dwell" on Crist because Weis built him up to be something he wasn't. And it isn't's relevant. It's relevant because we have a similar situation in Heaps next year. A guy who has proven himself only in practice, yet receives accolades from the coaching staff the same way Crist did.

Now we all know, or think we know, that Heaps is a much better quarterback. But those who still reference Crist are just hoping that history doesn't repeat itself.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

It's not Weis' fault that Crist was great in practice and the spring game, like Tom Keegan and Matt Tait said he was, and then performed horribly in games (However, I do think Weis is a little too high on Heaps after that early JUCO signing day press conference). Crist also might've cost us the OSU game when right after we made the switch at QB our offense immediately was much better.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

Almost all those had something to do with receivers not able to get open or the OLine not protecting. Crist and Cummings both had the same issues.

It's a team sport. Crist can't throw, then run real fast and catch the ball, too. He didn't run the routes.

What's even worse, Crist is gone. He isn't even going to be on the team next year. Stop living in the past.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm aware you can't blame him individually and absolutey for those losses. I may have exaggerated my point. The problem was this.

We all thought Crist had both the tangibles and intangibles (physical and mental skills) necessary to succeed. Whereas I do believe he is an athlete, his mental toughness and decision-making abilities were non-existent during games. So, as it turns out, he had the tangibles but not the intangibles.

Cummings on the other hand was the exact opposite. He had the mental game, but unfortunately, he just isn't a very talented quarterback.

Final synopsis...Crist played scared, and Cummings did not. If we could have combined both players' mental and physical might have made for a hell of a quarterback,

It just goes to show you how valuable the mental game is, regardless of the talent. We can all sit here and say, with absolute certainty, that we know Jake Heaps is a talented athlete, and a great leader OFF THE FIELD. But will he be scared and rattled when he takes the snaps in a game?

And yes, you can say that the receivers were a big problem, and responsible for a lot of issues. But how is it that Cummings, a proverbial "nobody," was more successful at moving the ball down the field? Crist had Pierson and Sims as well, but Cummings had the composure to do what Crist could not.

Having said that...I don't want to see Cummings in the game again unless we're up 40...or down 40...with 3 minutes left.

Jake Waddle 9 years, 6 months ago

Matt... Not sure if anyone has asked this yet or not, but I see some players are going to transfer from Florida. A Safety and an OL. Is there any chance either of those guys end up at Kansas??

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

That's a good question. It would not surprise me as long as they can get a waiver. But, if they haven't already been told they can get a waiver, I doubt they will go to Kansas if they can't help this coming season. But, you never know if Weis was the recruiter for these kids and maybe he's trying to fill number 26 and 27 with them so he gets max use of available scholarships because transfers would count in this recruiting class. We had 26 spots until Pattmon left. So we have a total of 27 spots and 24 and 25 are going to be filled by two Juco players in Hutchinson.

Joseph Kuebel 9 years, 6 months ago

Yep. Absolutely zero chance we put yet another scholarship towards a kicker.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

We should be fine there with Trevor Pardula, Eric Kahn and Mesh.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 6 months ago

ESPN has 24 committed, and we get to count 2 or 3 against last year's class (McKinney definitely).

I also thought it was 27 before Tyler left. That would mean (27 + 1) - (24 - 2) = 6 spots left.

Are the S & OL from CW's recruiting class, which would mean they were ranked ~ 80's! If they were his first class on board, then they'd probbly be a couple in the mid-70's. Could it be that they are more 4 yr grads?

BringBackMark 9 years, 6 months ago

It's good to see some optimism regarding KU football. CW's insisting on annointing a QB prior to spring practice bothers me. The manner in which we lost 4 of the 11 games this year also bothers me. Game coaching seemed to be missing in the final 5 minutes. I also think he's going to have to coach to his personnel rather than try to fit everyone into "his system".

Since the team realistically should've won 5 games this year that should be the lower limit for expectations next year.

Boouk 9 years, 6 months ago

When did he say Heaps was the starter?

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 6 months ago

Yep...learned to temper my optimism after the Crist debacle.

Larry Ewart 9 years, 5 months ago

Can anyone name a school other than Kansas that lost all their games to teams that were bowl eligible? I am speaking of at a minimum of 6 losses.

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