Recently Bleacher Report ran a story about Brigham Young QB Jake Heaps transferring out of the Cougar program.
When the B/R article was written it was not known which schools Heaps had on his transfer list. However, now we know that those schools drawing Heaps' interest are Washington, Washington State, Cal, and USC.
When Heaps committed to BYU back in June of 2009 he chose them over Cal and Washington who were also on his short list of five finalists. Also in his Top 5 at that time were Tennessee, and...Notre Dame.
Heaps was the No. 1 rated QB prospect of 2010 by Rivals.com and ranked higher than Blake Bell (Oklahoma), Tyler Bray (Tennessee), and...Andrew Hendrix.
While Heaps was the No. 1 rated QB in the Class of 2010 and chose BYU over Notre Dame (and the other three schools), the Irish ended up with three QB's from that class. Hendrix (No. 13), Luke Massa (No. 28), and Tommy Rees (No. 31) were all products of the Class of 2010. Ironically, the lowest ranked of all of them (Rees) is now starting for the Irish.
What is extremely interesting is that all of the quarterbacks mentioned were rated and ranked as pro-style quarterbacks, which makes sense since Charlie Weis was still the Irish coach and doing the recruiting. However, once Coach Weis was let go and Coach Kelly came on board there was no true dual threat quarterback to run the up tempo spread option offense that Coach Kelly runs.
It wasn't until Coach Kelly's first recruiting class in 2011 that the Irish were able to get a true dual threat QB in Everett Golson. Which would lead one to believe that since Dayne Crist won the starting job in the spring and was being counted on for the whole year, Golson was being red-shirted to take over in 2012.
But, with both Golson and Hendrix getting very little game action this year, Crist transferring, and Rees the virtual definition of standing target, would it make sense for the Irish to give Heaps a call and rekindle those recruiting fires?
I'm thinking it most definitely does. First, let it be known that I fully expect either Golson or Hendrix to start in 2012 and besides if Heaps were to come to Notre Dame he'll have to sit out a year. But with no quarterbacks in the recruiting class of 2012, should neither Golson or Hendrix work out Irish fans will be enduring another year of Tommy Rees.
Now, I like what Rees has accomplished and I think he's a great kid, but if you're giving me the choice in 2013 to start the No. 31 ranked QB or the No. 1 ranked QB I know who I'm choosing. And let's face it, Rees will never be more than what he is right now in 2011.
Playing behind an average offensive line (18 sacks) his freshman year at BYU, Heaps was still able to throw for over 2,300 yards and 15 TD's while completing just under 60% of his passes. Heaps started the first five games this year, his sophomore year, and then got hurt. Coming back from injury he completed over 64% of his passes while throwing six TD's to only two interceptions.
In addition to a strong and accurate arm, Heaps is mobile and athletic. He is able to move around in the pocket and avoid the rush and if needed, can run. He is a much better fit for Coach Kelly's offense than Rees can even dream of being.
If Notre Dame were set at quarterback I wouldn't even be writing this article. But with 2012 just around the corner the QB situation looks like this:
- Two QB's who between them have less than one full game of experience
- One QB who is virtually a statue in the pocket and not suited for the Irish offense at all
- One QB transferring
- No incoming QB recruits
Now of course I'm hoping and thinking that either Golson or Hendrix are the answer, but the truth is no one knows. And if by some chance neither one is the answer, would you rather have Tommy Rees or Jake Heaps as your future?