The Miami Hurricanes have had some difficulty in finding the replacement for long-time starter Stephen Morris this offseason. Last season’s backup, Ryan Williams, was expected to move into the starting lineup but was lost with a knee injury during spring practice. That left a void of experienced options under center that head coach Al Golden was apparently uncomfortable with. Can transfer Jake Heaps add some experience to the group and push for the starting job this fall?
Heaps comes to Miami as a graduate transfer from the Kansas Jayhawks where he had trasnferred to after two years with the BYU Cougars out of high school. After being one of the top quarterbacks in the 2010 recruiting class, Heaps came out strong as a freshman, throwing for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Cougars. The future appeared bright for Heaps as the quarterback of the future for BYU.
He has struggled to follow that up with another good year, however, starting just six games as sophomore for BYU before transferring to Kansas and struggling in 2013, completing 49 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. After losing the starting quarterback job to Montell Cozart this spring, Heaps decided it was time for him to leave Kansas.
Now, he comes to a Miami program that is searching for some experience under center. Without Williams in the mix, the team was left with redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen, sophomore Gray Crow, and incoming freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier to fill out the depth chart. Olsen appeared to have the edge coming out of the spring, but a string of maturity issues off the field left the team uneasy about the position heading into this season.
Heaps has had some major struggles to capitalize on his potential but the former five-star recruit should have more to work with at Miami than he did last season with the Jayhawks. Will that be enough for Heaps to find some success in 2014 and help a quarterback-needy Miami make a run at the ACC Coastal Division title?