Could Heaps solve Cal's search for stability at QB?
Not since Aaron Rodgers has Cal head coach Jeff Tedford had a star quarterback to lead his team.
But with BYU's Jake Heaps making it official on Monday that he is transferring from BYU, there will be a lot of teams interested in the services of the former Cougars starting quarterback.
There has been a lot of speculation that Heaps could return home to the state of Washington and land in Pullman, where new Washington State head coach Mike Leach's offense could help Heaps put up prolific numbers in a pass-happy offense. Washington and USC, where he would play for noted offensive minds Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin, respectively, also have been mentioned as possible landing spots for Heaps. Certainly, the aforementioned programs have been led by stellar quarterbacks in the past.
ICONJake Heaps will likely have plenty of suitors now that he is leaving BYU.
But perhaps no one needs stability at the quarterback position more than Tedford, who has seen notable lackluster efforts at the position since Rodgers was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.
Cal fans haven’t exactly been able to get excited about the position since the reigning Super Bowl MVP was on campus. He was the sixth first-round quarterback coached by Tedford, but the play under center in Berkeley has severely tapered off since.
Including his stints as offensive coordinator at Fresno State and Oregon before his arrival at Cal in 2002, Tedford coached Trent Dilfer, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller and Rodgers in college. After Rodgers’ departure, Joe Ayoob, Steve Levy, Nate Longshore, Kevin Riley, Brock Mansion and Buffalo transfer Zach Maynard have all taken snaps under center.
While Maynard had an up and down junior campaign, he has shown signs of progress. However, he will be a senior next year, which means Heaps could be ready to step in for the 2013 season when he is eligible to play again.
Heaps spent two seasons at BYU, starting the final 10 games as a freshman and the first five in 2011 before losing his job to Riley Nelson, who lost his job to Heaps early in 2010 when he suffered a shoulder injury. Heaps set numerous BYU freshman records, including ones for passing yards (2,316), passing completions (219), passing touchdowns (15), wins (six) and games played (13). Call it a sophomore slump or growing pains, but Heaps' slow start this fall and Nelson's strong play paved the way for Heaps' exit and a desire for a fresh start. In nine games this season, he threw for 1,452 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Heaps decided to make his transfer decision before BYU's bowl game and plans to select a new school so he can enroll in January. He led Skyline High School to three Washington state championships, recording a 40-2 mark along the way, so a return home could suit him well.
However, fellow Pac-12 member Cal would be a good fit because of Tedford's experience with talented signal-callers. Heaps would also become eligible in time to give top Class of 2012 prospect Zach Kline some serious competition for the starting job. Kline was most recently named the 2011 Gatorade California Football Player of the Year.
No matter his next destination, one offensive staff will certainly be landing a talented QB who could help rejuvenate an offense in 2013.
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