UNC Among Heaps' Top 10

When Scout.com five-star quarterback Jake Heaps named his ten favorite schools, North Carolina made the cut, despite being literally on the other side of the country from his Washington home.

"North Carolina is a very intriguing program," Heaps said. "I'm very excited to further get to know the program…

"Coach [Butch] Davis is a doing a fantastic job over there. He's going to get that place to a top ten program in the country every year. It would be a lot of fun to be a part of that."

Joining UNC on Heaps' top ten list are Brigham Young, California, Colorado, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, and Washington.


"What it came down to in my top ten is the style of play, the coaching staff, and how I fit into the system," said Heaps, who holds 19 scholarship offers. "If you look at my top ten, they're pro-style offenses that generally translate very well to the NFL."

Heaps, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, says he will make his collegiate decision before his senior football season begins. However, his decision could come as early as in a couple of months.

"It just depends on how fast I can make my visits," Heaps said. "I want to be able to commit as soon as I possibly can to help with next year's recruiting class. Wherever I go, I feel very strongly about [how] I need to bring in a good class with me."

Ideally, Heaps would take unofficial visits to all ten members of this favorites list. However financially, that notion is not feasible.

Of his top ten schools, Heaps has already visited BYU, Oregon State, and Washington. He has also taken trips to Oregon, Southern Cal, and Washington State.

This month, Heaps will unofficially visit California and Tennessee. Originally, he was scheduled to travel to UNC this coming weekend, but the trip was postponed since John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will be out of town.

Heaps said he is looking to reschedule his UNC visit sometime this spring, as soon as possible, and preferably when he's the lone recruit on campus – which nixes the idea of him attending UNC's Junior Day.

"I would like to go into a day where it's possibly just one-on-one with me and the coaches to have that extra time to go over Xs and Os, break down film, visit the campus, and talk to each coach individually and see what each coach is like," Heaps said.

With a manageable list of contenders, Heaps is now down to, what he calls, the "nitty gritty" of his recruitment.

"You get down to depth charts, you get down to coaching staffs and how you relate to them, [and] you get down to the players," Heaps said. "Do they have a great offensive line? Do they have a good running back to keep the pressure off you and the pass game? Do you have great receivers that can go make plays for you? And do they have a great defense that can make plays for you? [Because] I'm only on the field 50-percent of the time. I need to look at every component and more in-depth at the style of play. Can I excel playing for that team and can they make me reach my potential?"

Between now and his decision day, Heaps said he could see himself narrowing his list of ten schools even further – possibly to five schools.

"I'm just not exactly sure quite yet," Heaps said. "I'll definitely have a better understanding in the next couple of months of where I'm at with my recruitment.

"I know that schools just got done with their '09 recruiting class and now they're taking a deep breath and going into their 2010 class. It will be very interesting to see what happens and which colleges step up."

Shoop, who has been handling Heaps' recruitment for UNC, has made sure to break down the quarterback situation.

"Obviously they just got a great quarterback in Bryn Renner," Heaps said. "[Shoop] wants to get a good quarterback each year if he possibly can. He believes that competition brings out the best in players and I definitely agree with that… He's looking for a guy that can do a lot of great things in the offense, be a leader out there, and make all the throws."

Heaps says distance won't be a major factor in his collegiate decision.

"You always want to be close to home, but that's not going to hinder my decision," Heaps said. "Wherever I need to be, wherever the right place for me is, that's where I'm going to go, regardless if it's here in Washington or it's all the way in North Carolina."

As a junior, Heaps passed for 2,910 yards and 38 touchdowns, with a 65-percent completion rate and just four interceptions. He also rushed for seven touchdowns. Heaps has already been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

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