Washington players familiar with Heaps

2010-09-03T00:25:00Z 2010-09-03T13:07:18Z Washington players familiar with HeapsJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
September 03, 2010 12:25 am  • 

Will Chandler hasn't been asked by any teammates or coaches, but the Washington receiver has a pretty good idea about the scouting report of Jake Heaps.

BYU's freshman quarterback will play at some point today. The native of suburban Seattle has three old Skyline High teammates that are now Huskies, including Chandler. Count them nearly as excited as about 63,000 BYU fans eager to see the beginning of what could possibly be the next link in the proud position legacy at BYU.

"Jake's got good arm strength and he can throw great fade routes," said Chandler, who walked on with the Huskies a year ago. "He can throw a bunch of great balls that only the receivers can catch."

He won a couple of state titles with Heaps, who captured three in a row. Cody Habben, a senior offensive tackle for UW, is also formerly of Skyline and on the roster along with Cooper Pelluer, a true freshman linebacker.

Just like at BYU, the newbies at UW are not allowed to talk with media.

So we'll have to stick with Chandler's pre-initiation on the event. He understands it's a big one in Provo for BYU fans.

"We're going to have to get after him," Chandler said playfully.

Heaps is a prodigious text-messager, and he exchanged a few with Chandler about a week ago.

Making sure to say "hello" after the game was the gist of it, according to Chandler.

It will be the first time they've seen each other since Heaps came to Provo, which was actually in the spring to get a head start on college football and classes.

Heaps will play at some point, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall has acknowledged, but it is expected to come after junior Riley Nelson takes at least the first drive.

Heaps will be in friendly confines. It's hard to say how Husky Stadium would have reacted, had this game been in that idyllic setting.

The Seattle Times points out, however, that UW coach Steve Sarkisian -- not Mormon, but nonetheless one of the great BYU quarterbacks -- was "kind of behind the 8-ball" because Sarkisian wasn't hired until December of 2008. That made going after Heaps a priority that didn't offer enough time to facilitate a proper relationship (though Sarkisian had credentials -- the 36-year-old was formerly an offensive assistant at USC).

Sarkisian told the Times, "I felt like when we took over here that we were kind of behind 28 points in the fourth quarter. And I thought we made a nice comeback. But in the end it was a little too late. I felt like the time kind of ran out on us. But he went to a great place, so it'll be fine.''

Chandler calls Heaps "a great person."

One who has an arm the Huskies need to be wary of.

"Our coaches recruited him, so I think they know what he can do," Chandler said. "Jake can do a lot of things. I haven't watched BYU's offense, but I know Jake will probably want to throw some deep balls -- take a few shots."

• Jason Franchuk can be reached at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com.

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