August 24, 2008

Heaps Holding Steady at 13

As the weeks roll by, the offers roll in for Skyline High School's Jake Heaps. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound junior already holds 13 offers, the most recent coming from Notre Dame and North Carolina.

"It's going pretty good, it hasn't been too hectic of a process for me," explained Heaps of the recruiting process. "It's been a fun ride and I've just enjoyed it as much as I can. It's just a fun deal that all this is happening. I would have never thought I would have 13 scholarships at this time."

Heaps may change his tune come September 1st, when college coaches can begin calling recruits once a week.

"I'm sure it'll get overwhelming. At this point, I'm making all of the contacts - it's been pretty nice that way," expressed Heaps. "Come September 1st, it will get pretty hectic and crazy. But to be honest, I'll be more focused on my season than anything."

And a successful season it should be. Along with Heaps, the defending 3A state champion Spartans return senior wide receiver Gino Simone, a first-team all-state selection who recently committed to Washington State and sophomore wide receiver Kasen Williams, who already boasts multiple Pac-10 offers.

"I'm not too worried about our team. Everybody is playing really well. We're having guys step up that we needed to step up," said Heaps. "It's been fun going to practice everyday. We're excited for the season. Everybody is looking real sharp. Of course, we're trying to get better each every practice, but we're looking pretty solid as a team."

Most likely, the Spartans' toughest opponent will come in the season opener when Skyline travels to Portland to take on the defending Oregon 6A state champions, the Fighting Irish of Sheldon High School.

"Everybody gets the butterflies before the game hits, but nervous about playing Sheldon? Not a chance," exclaimed a confident Heaps. "We're excited as all get out about playing the best team from Oregon. We're pumped about it. Two great programs going head-to-head. It'll be a battle between the borders. We respect Sheldon, they're a great team. We just want to represent our program the best we can and show that we're the best. We want to get out there and prove to everybody that Skyline is a great program."

Heaps attended two of Huskies' fall practices and came away impressed with what he saw.

"They look sharp. The first time I was there, Jake Locker wasn't practicing. Ronnie [Fouch] was throwing the ball and doing a great job," said Heaps. "The defense looks solid. You can tell they have confidence in themselves, due to the new defensive coordinator. They feel like they can win ball games, and that's what u have to have if you're going to be a winning program. You have to have confidence and swagger. It's been fun to watch them develop. I've watched them in spring practices and now in the fall. I'm excited to see what we will do this season."

It's obvious Heaps grew up a fan of Washington, when he refers the the Huskies as we and not they. When asked if growing up a fan of Washington would hold an edge for the Huskies, Heaps had this to say.

"I wouldn't say an advantage, it's just a habit of me talking about my Huskies. It's the team I've grown up with and watched," expressed Heaps. "It's been fun being recruited by them. Me and my dad talked about it all the time, that we hope to get an offer from U-Dub. It's been an honor to be offered by them and it's been a fun experience for me. We'll see how they do, but I have to find the right program for me."

Husky fans, for the most part, have fallen in love with Locker, and Heaps has become used to hearing the 'you should be the next great Jake at Washington' pitch.

"I hear it all of the time," said Heaps with a laugh. "My best friend is probably the biggest die hard U-Dub fan. He always talks about how U-Dub is the place for me - I need to be the next Jake and all that kind of stuff. Every time I'm at his house, it's always U-Dub this and U-Dub that. It's nice to hear that people are excited about me and would like me to come to the program."

Aside from Washington, Heaps holds some pretty solid offers from the likes of the aforementioned Fighting Irish and Tar Heels, as well as Arizona State, BYU, California, South Carolina and UCLA. Heaps has also been hearing from Florida, Oklahoma and Clemson, and feels offers could be coming from all three schools very soon.

"It's hard to tell at this moment in time, but all three of them have a lot of interest in me," explained Heaps. "I'm excited to continue my relationships with them. Hopefully things will work out in the end, but I'm taking things one day at a time - we'll see what happens."

Heaps doesn't have a favorite or even a group of favorites, but he does have a timetable for when he would like to make a decision.

"My deadline is between right after my junior season ends or the beginning of my senior season," explained Heaps. "But no later than that. I want to make my decision by the beginning of my senior year."

Another decision that yet to be determined for Heaps, a mormon, is whether he will take a mission.

"I'm still kind of open to the idea, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with that," expressed Heaps. "I could very easily do both, but that's something I need to sit down with parents and talk about, and we'll figure it out from there."

Thus far, Heaps has visited Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, USC and BYU.

"I like all of the campuses. Each college has it's own unique thing. I've enjoyed all of the differences," said Heaps. "It's been cool to be able to go check them out and see what they're like and kind of get a feel for what college football is like."

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