The Kansas Jayhawks are coming off of a horrendous 2012 season in which they failed to beat a single FBS level football team on their way to a 1-11 campaign. They have areas of concern all over the field heading into 2013 and head coach Charlie Weis has questions to answer at just about every position. His quarterback situation, however, may have been settled during the spring after Jake Heaps put together a strong performance to close out spring practice and quieted a lot of the criticisms against him.
Heaps comes to Kansas after transferring from the BYU Cougars following an up and down career in Provo. As a true freshman in relief of an injured Riley Nelson, Heaps looked fantastic, completing 57 percent of his passes for 2,316 yards and set a BYU record for passing touchdowns by a freshman quarterback with 15 scoring strikes. When he struggled early during his sophomore season, BYU went back to Nelson as the starter. Heaps took a step back that year, partially due to the benching, and finished the year throwing for 1,452 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
After the disappointment of 2011, Heaps decided he would transfer from BYU and chose to come to Kansas. He sat out the 2012 season due to transfer rules, but put in his time on the practice squad building a rapport with fellow transfer Justin McCay, a wide receiver who figures to be featured prominently in the Jayhawks’ gameplan in 2013. While many projected Heaps would come in and be able to win the starting job, some questioned his accuracy and his ability to bounce back from the disappointing sophomore season at BYU.
Heaps, to his credit, came out in spring and quieted those criticisms with a strong showing during practices that culminated in a very good showing in the spring game. He completed 20-of-28 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns as he made all the throws and led the Blue team to a 34-7 win in the scrimmage. He definitively outplayed Michael Cummings, who completed 8-of-13 passes for 94 yards and just one touchdown for the White team.
While there are still plenty of questions marks for the Kansas Jayhawks heading into the 2013 season, the quarterback competition appears to be closed. Can Jake Heaps bring a win to Lawrence next fall?