BLOG — BYU sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps is ready for the 2011 season opener at Ole Miss.The native of Issaquah, Wa., threw for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first season with the Cougars and looking to improve those stats this year. His first opportunity comes Sept. 3 at Vaught-Hemingway against the Ole Miss Rebels, a team he and the rest of the Cougars have a lot of respect for.
“We’re a young group, but were also a veteran group. We have a lot of talent on this football team, talent that BYU hasn’t had in a long time so we’re very excited about the guys that are walking around this place,” Heaps said. “Really it’s just fun to come into my second year and understand the game that much more, to know what I’m looking at and know how to look at film effectively and know how to lead the team effectively and to do everything I possibly know how for our team to be successful. Our guys have responded well. We’ve had a great offseason and a great fall camp. We’re very excited heading into this Independence campaign. Ole Miss is a great team and we’ve got a tough matchup ahead of us.”
Heaps said he’s watched some film of the Rebels already and thought the defense was athletic. He’s also kept up with the quarterback race this summer because of his friendship with sophomore Barry Brunetti.
“Me and Barry Brunetti are actually very close friends. We’ve been to a few camps together and we always text each other. It’s fun catching up with him and I’m very happy for him that he got the job,” said Heaps, who keeps up with Brunetti through text messages. “It’s a tough situation. I was in that situation last year. I guess in his case it was a three-man race. I was in a two-quarterback battle and he was in a three-quarterback battle. Now he gets most of the reps for himself. It’s really tough to be in that situation. You’re coming into the game with really less reps than an average starting quarterback would get. It’s a tough situation, but I know Barry can handle it. I think Barry is very deserving. He’s a great kid. He works extremely hard and he’s a talented football player above all.”
Heaps is a very articulate player who talked at length about the Cougars’ offense, mindset this summer and the expectations of the team know that they are no longer a member of the Mountain West. For more on Heaps’ interview, see next week’s Gameday section in the EAGLE. (August 25, 2011)