Weis Gives Heaps Special Treatment

On Monday, Charlie Weis did something he's never done in his four years as Notre Dame's football coach.

Weis left practice early to talk with a recruit.

Class-of-2010 quarterback Jake Heaps was calling college coaches this afternoon, and reached Dave Peloquin in the Notre Dame football office. The Irish's Coordinator of Football Personnel Development asked the Issaquah, Wash., product to call back in 15 minutes.

"I was like alright, and I waited 15 minutes longer and gave him a call, and he said hey coach Weis would like to talk to you," Heaps recapped. "After that, I was real excited to hear that. Coach Weis got on the phone and asked me if he could not take a quarterback this year and go after a quarterback on the West Coast that's not in California?

"I said yes sir coach!

"He was just talking about, in his four years, he's never left practice to talk to a recruit before. He just says he likes me a lot, he's very high on me and that he's trying to give me some separation from Jimmy Clausen and Dayne Crist. He says he wants the very best quarterbacks and everyone else can take the rest. He is very excited about the opportunity to recruit me, and I'm very excited to be recruited by the Notre Dame staff."

It's easy to see why Weis and Notre Dame is excited about Heaps.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound all-state sophomore threw for 3,103 yards and 31 touchdowns, leading Skyline High to a 14-0 record and the 3-A state championship.

Besides Notre Dame, other schools that have verbally offered a scholarship are Washington, BYU, Washington State, Oregon State, Boise State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Stanford, California, South Carolina and UCLA. Plenty of other programs including USC are showing interest. Juniors can't be officially offered a scholarship until Sept. 1st, per NCAA rules.

Weis and Heaps will likely chat again that day, and talked for quite some time on Monday.

"It was an honor," Heaps said. "I was completely star struck. I was like oh man, you have to be kidding me. It's definitely a great honor when a coach wants to talk to you that bad to leave his own practice. I definitely understand the circumstance of that, and am very honored and grateful he thinks that highly of me.

"I was talking on the phone with him and I was just going, I was watching this guy on TV and he was calling the plays for Tom Brady. It's funny how things work and how the world goes. It was definitely a cool thing to talk with coach Weis and I look forward to continuing my relationship with him."

Heaps wanted to visit Notre Dame this summer, but was unable to with his busy schedule.

"(Weis) said don't worry about it," Heaps began. "Get up when you can, and hopefully I'll be able to make a game or something like that. I'm definitely going to get up there, that's my goal to get up there and check it out. I'm excited to continue my relationship with the coaching staff and get to know Notre Dame better every day.

"Them telling me they're not going to take a quarterback this year is definitely something that comes to my attention big time. It shows me how interested and willing they are to get me. I'm always open to competition, but when a school is willing to not take a quarterback to get you, or have a better shot at you, definitely says a lot."

Heaps is Mormon, and understands why some people would think that because of his faith, he wouldn't consider Notre Dame as much as maybe some other schools. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.

"I'm there to play football and go to school," Heaps stated. "I'm very comfortable about my faith, and I'm not afraid to talk about it and share what I believe in. Going to a catholic school is not something I'm afraid of, and it would be pretty silly to knock Notre Dame off my list because of that. I'm very interested in Notre Dame."

Heaps added that he hasn't knocked anybody off his list, and he's going to use this college football season to further evaluate programs. He'd like to be verbally committed before the start of his senior season.

Heaps will also sit down with his parents and discuss taking a possible mission trip while he is a college student.

"That one is still up for grabs," Heaps answered. "I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with that. I may or may not. Me and my family, we haven't sat down and talked about it quite yet, but it's a definite honor to do that, but at the same time I think I can play football and do the same."

Heaps did get a chance to talk with his parents about his latest scholarship offer.

"My parents love Notre Dame," Heaps said. "Just like me and everyone else, as soon as I told them what happened they were excited and couldn't believe that happened. Because I'm Mormon and that's a catholic school, we're completely open to it, and I'm excited to learn more about it, and my parents are as well, and it's going to be a fun deal."

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