Trip Report: Jake Heaps

It wasn't enough for first-year Head Coach Steve Sarkisian to host 13 prospects during his first gaggle of official recruiting visits to Montlake this past weekend. While the recruits were off taking a well-earned siesta, Sarkisian was in his office, unoffically hosting the top quarterback prospect for the class of 2010.

"It was good, it was a good conversation," Jake Heaps told Scout.com Sunday night when recounting his nearly three-hour unofficial visit. "It means a great deal to me that they took that time given their busy schedule."

Heaps and his father Steve talked with Sarkisian, as well as new Offensive Coordinator Jim Michalczik, Quarterbacks Coach Doug Nussmeier and Running Backs Coach Joel Thomas. "We studied film: We watched the Rose Bowl game and watched a little of my State Championship game," Heaps said. "We went through coverages, what the offense is going to be like, what the terminology is going to be like, all that stuff. I think it was a very good meeting and I had a lot of fun."

Jake gave us some insight into the mind of Sarkisian when he's breaking down game film. "It's very quick and he rolls through it very quickly," Heaps said. "But I'm the type of kid where if you teach me something and go through it with me, I'll be able to keep up with you. And I was able to keep up with him pretty good, I thought. He would teach me some different concepts and packages and I was able to keep up with him, with the lingo, as best I could. I thought I did a pretty good job of keeping up with what he was saying. We actually run some of the same packages that he does, so that was very interesting to me. I didn't expect that at all, but we had some of the same plays that he ran during that game."

Up to this point, Washington was the only school recruiting Heaps without a quarterbacks coach. That all changed this past week with the hiring of Nussmeier, who played his college ball at Idaho, played professionally, coached Marc Bulger with the St. Louis Rams, and most recently was Pat Hill's Offensive Coordinator at Fresno State.

"I really liked him," Heaps said of Nussmeier. "He was a very nice guy, very personable. I liked him a lot. He's very easy to talk to. He's a very good ball coach and I really enjoyed my time with him. Just seeing what he's done over his period of time in his coaching career is very impressive. Coaching Marc Bulger for two years...every quarterback he's been with he's put in the NFL, and he didn't have the Carson Palmers and Matt Leinarts...he had decent guys and he turned them into NFL-caliber quarterbacks. I was very impressed with that. I've very excited to get to know him more."

During a 180-minute chat, there are lots of questions and lot of answers. Heaps left the UW Football offices with some big questions still on his checklist. "With the University of Washington so far, I haven't figured out what kind of guy they are looking for," he said, matter-of-factly. "That's something they haven't expressed and I'm still a little confused about what kind of playing they are looking for and what type of guy they are looking for. I'm still trying to figure that out and trying to find out what they are all about and who they are looking for.

"There were a lot of good things said, but there's still a lot of questions that need to be answered and some things need to be said that haven't been said yet. But it's been good and the things I have had have been positive and they are moving in the right direction. But there are still a lot of things that need to be said and clarified."

So what would some of those questions be? "Some of the big things are: What kind of quarterback are they looking for? Am I the quarterback they are looking for? Am I the guy they believe will lead them back to the Promised Land, back to where they need to be, or am I just another name on the roster? I'm not exactly sure how they quite feel about me yet," Heaps added. "They just recently watched my film, so I don't know how much they know about me quite yet. At the same time, I need to give them time to have an opportunity to figure me out."

After a strong workout in San Antonio participating in the U.S. Army All-American Combine (He's already been picked to play in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl), Heaps has come back home to deal with ordinary high school things, like final exams this coming week. But he will be working out at the Barton Football Academy during the weekends and lifting during the week. Next month Jake and his family will take unofficial trips to Notre Dame, Tennessee and North Carolina.

And Heaps could have his top-10 ready to announce as early as Monday. "I could do it tomorrow, during the week or on the weekend," he said. "But I'm not quite there yet."


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