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Bronco says starting QB job open in the spring, but Heaps "certainly has the lead."

Published December 10, 2010 9:00 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Is BYU's starting quarterback job really open again in the spring, after Jake Heaps shined the last few games of the regular season? Coach Bronco Mendenhall reportedly said that in a radio interview a few weeks ago, noting that the player who started the first three games of the season before getting hurt, Riley Nelson, would be back in the race with Heaps, backup James Lark and current third-stringer Jason Munns. I asked Mendenhall after the Cougars' practiced tonight if Heaps' stellar play against Utah changed his mind at all. "I think that Jake will certainly have the lead going into it. But to say there won't be others that have a chance to compete for it, I can't say that, because we have good players," he said. "But I think the job right now, coming out of the season, Jake would certainly be ahead and have the first shot, going into the spring." What did I take from that? It's open. But it's not wide open. A few minutes later, I asked Heaps what he thought about Mendenhall's statement that the job was open. "We will go into the offseason, and we will see what will happen from there," he said, rather brusquely.————————————— Quarterbacks coach Brandon Doman said it is going to be Mendenhall's call, but acknowledged that Heaps played so well lately that it is going to take a lot to overtake him. "I think [opening up the job] is a good thing only in that I think every spot is a battle. I think that's the right thing to do. Now certainly Jake goes in with the advantage. He goes in with the experience, and the playing time. Being around the players, I think he has earned that respect from them. So I think those other [quarterbacks] are really going to have to come out and play well to be in position to compete against him. Otherwise, I don't know that it will be a long-lived battle. But that will be up to coach Mendenhall. You know, I have learned that as a quarterback coach, that he is making the decisions. He is going to decide what is going to happen. If he wants to create a quarterback battle in the spring, then that's what will happen."———————————- Heaps said after practice that he isn't 100 percent recovered from the bruises and dings he suffered against Utah, but says it won't slow him down. "I am OK. I still got some dings, but nothing serious. So I will play in a game, and it is going to take a lot more than that to keep me from playing," he said. Doman's take on Heaps' health: "He's had enough time to heal. By the time the game starts, he will be back to normal."——————————- Not that I've seen his name popping up much in regards to some of the coaching openings around the country, but I thought I would ask Mendenhall anyway. Has he been contacted at all for any openings? "I haven't, nope. Just working on trying to get our team ready for UTEP," he said. When told about Idaho coach Rob Akey's joke that Akey was waiting for a phone call from Florida (to replace Urban Meyer), Mendenhall replied, "He will probably get it the same time I get it."




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