Heaps transfers; BYU-Tulsa talk Bowl Game

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It’s official. Sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps is transferring.

BYU issued a release today for Heaps to transfer. Although he hasn’t stated which school he will attend, Heaps will not be a Cougar next season.

“Jake is a great young man with tremendous potential and someone I deeply care about,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday in a statement. “I am sorry to see him leave this wonderful institution yet anxious to follow his future development and success.”

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BYU quarterback Jake Heaps takes a snap on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Cougars beat the Vandals 42-7
And Mendenhall isn’t the only one with feelings of admiration.

“I have the utmost respect for the BYU program; its coaches, players, alumni, and student body,” Heaps said in an interview with a Northwest Elite Index reporter. “I had a great experience there. But it’s time for me to close that chapter of my life and start a new one. This has been a big weight lifted off my shoulders. This decision is behind me and I’m looking forward to what’s in store.”

Heaps’ transfer status is effective immediately, which means he will not attend the bowl game or be able to practice with the team for the rest of the year.

Heaps started the first five games this season before getting benched in the game against Utah State. Junior Riley Nelson, who shared snaps with Heaps last year, became the starter the remainder of the year.

Cougar fans expected Heaps to pick up from his 264-yard, four-touchdown performance in the New Mexico Bowl last year, especially with a new offensive coordinator and several returning offensive starters.

“[Heaps], last year, led us in our turn-around season after Riley [Nelson] got hurt. Jake [Heaps] as a true freshman quarterback at BYU, which is unheard of, helped us turn around our season and get back to a bowl game and win it,” Mendenhall said Monday morning in a teleconference. “It’s not a matter of competency or ability, sometimes it’s just chemistry and that’s kind of what the issue is this year.”

With BYU’s win over Hawaii, the Cougars are looking forward to this year’s bowl game in Dallas.

Tim Simmons, the media director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, held a teleconference Monday with the athletic directors and head coaches of both BYU and Tulsa. Simmons introduced the bowl and its history while the coaches and athletic directors summed up their season. BYU Athletic Director Tom Holmoe expressed his excitement for the upcoming game.

“We’re excited to go back  to Texas where a lot of great football is played,” Holmoe said. “I think it’s always good to be invited to a bowl game … It’s better to be able to have a match-up against a team where you feel like it’s going to be a great game … And best, to go down and win the game.”

Mendenhall has been to a bowl game each of his seven years as the head coach. He has a 4-2 record in those games and hopes to improve to 5-2.

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