What more can you say about Jerrod Heard at this point? Two state title games, two wins and double-digit touchdowns in those performances.
It sounds strange to say about a game where Heard hit 9-of-9 passes, ran for 159 yards and scored three combined touchdowns, but Heard wasn't able to match his surreal 2012 state title game performance. That, of course, is when Heard scored all seven of his team's touchdowns, throwing for 189 yards and rushing for 143 more.
Still, if there's something to be said about Heard's development this year, it's the job he's done as a passer. Last season, Heard had the luxury of Arizona State commitment Ellis Jefferson at wide receiver. This year, Heard didn't have the same kind of weapon, but he showed more ability as a touch thrower, displaying accuracy and the poise to go through progressions as a thrower.
He didn't have to display that much against Brennan, both because Guyer largely kept the ball on the ground or got rid of it quickly, in part of avoid the pass rush supplied by fellow Texas commitment Derick Roberson. But Heard made every throw he was asked to. He doesn't have an elite arm, but he can make every pass, including the touch throws that often trouble quarterbacks his age. The key there will be consistency. Can Heard make the slight tweaks to where he becomes a 65-percent passer at the college level? There are a number of indicators to suggest that he can.
Some of those can't be measured. Heard is known as an outstanding player from an intangible standpoint. He has the work ethic, the "want-to", the moxie and the leadership that coaches covet at the position.
And he has an elite talent — there are few quarterbacks in the country who can run the way that Heard can. That's not just an expression of raw straight-line speed, though Heard has that, running a 4.59 electronic 40-yard dash at the Dallas NFTC (for comparison's sake, that's about what Vince Young ran after four years at Texas). More importantly, Heard has the elusiveness and strength to avoid and break potential tackles, showing the ability to jump cut, make a guy miss in short quarters and glide away from pursuit.
His instincts and vision as a runner are similar to those of last season's quarterback take, Tyrone Swoopes, though the two are totally different runners. Swoopes relied on excellent speed for his size, and used his raw strength to run over opponents. Heard is significantly faster and quicker, and has excellent strength for his size. It's a little thunder vs. lightning, though certainly Swoopes is faster than your average "thunder" back, and Heard has more pop to him than a scat back.
Heard should only continue to improve as he develops as a passer, though it's worth noting that he's ahead in that area of where many dual threat quarterbacks are at this point, including Swoopes. Without a future coach, it's impossible to tell just how Heard will be utilized. But his versatility, work ethic and skill set indicates that he'll probably be just fine in any offense.