Great news for athletes in the Pacific Northwest as Jake Heaps, one of the all-time great from the State of Washington, has returned home and accepted a coaching position with the Barton Football Academy. Heaps will also be on the coaching staff at the premier QB event of the offseason, the Northwest 9.
Heaps brings a wealth of knowledge both on the field and in recruiting that will be valuable to any quarterback looking to take his game to the next level.
After an outstanding career at Skyline High School, where he led the Spartans to three consecutive state championships, and a 40-2 overall record, Heaps was rated the #1 QB recruit in the nation by both Rivals and Scout. He was the AP State Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year, a Parade & USA Today All-American, and was named Captain and starting QB for the West Team at the US Army All-American game in San Antonio, Texas.
Following his senior season Heaps would sign at Brigham Young University and have an immediate impact. Heaps would end up setting every BYU freshman QB record and was named the Offensive MVP of the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.
After the 2011 season, Heaps would transfer to the University of Kansas and play for head coach Charlie Weis. Heaps was an impact player for the Jayhawks both on and off the field as a captain and was named to the Academic All-Big XII second team.
Heaps would finish his college career at the University of Miami where he received the U Respect Award, given to the most respected player on the team.
Having played out his collegiate eligibility, Heaps would prepare for the NFL and eventually sign with the New York Jets.
But Heaps is back home now, and we got a chance to sit down and talk for a few minutes, and this is what Heaps had to say…
Q&A With Jake Heaps
NEI: You came through the Barton Football Academy as a player. What does it mean to you to be back home working with athletes that had the same dreams you did?
Jake Heaps: The Barton Football Academy is special to me because it has helped me so much as a player and a person. I would not have been able to accomplish everything I did without it. I know the impact this program can have on a young athlete’s life. That is why joining BFA is more than just employment, it is an opportunity to give back to these kids the lessons that I learned coming through BFA and beyond.
NEI: Being a QB who has his roots in the Northwest, how do you think that uniquely helps you in working with QB’s in this region?
Jake Heaps: I have tremendous pride being from the Northwest and cannot wait to help the kids in this area become the best they can be. Being from the Northwest I think is paramount because I can relate to these kids and understand what it is like being a Northwest athlete and know that sometimes kids in this area have to go above and beyond to garner attention from colleges. I know the high school programs, the rivalries, and the coaching staffs. I also know what it is like dreaming to one day play in the Tacoma Dome for a shot at a State title and what it takes to make that dream become a reality.
NEI: The Northwest 9 had a great inaugural event, what made you want to join that staff?
Jake Heaps: The Northwest 9 is actually an idea that Taylor and I had talked about a year before it happened and I was excited when he said he was going to do it because I knew how special of an event this would be for QBs in the NW region. I wanted to join the staff because I wanted to be apart of this amazing event. The NW9 is an event that recognizes the top QBs in the region, they get to compete against one another, build friendships, and receive great instruction.
NEI: What experiences from your time in college and in the pros do you feel you can pass along to the athletes you train?
Jake Heaps: There is so much that I have learned from my experiences at the College and Pro level and I cannot wait to share those experiences with these kids. Being able to be apart of multiple programs from around the country, I have met and learned from a lot of coaches and players. I have seen what great coaches and players do and also have seen the bad. I have learned that every aspect of your life matters when it comes to becoming the best athlete you can be. I want to help young athletes not only become great football players but great men as well.
NEI: You went through training camp with the New York Jets, what was it like to be part of an NFL franchise?
Jake Heaps: Playing in the NFL is a dream come true and I hope to get another opportunity soon. Getting the opportunity with the NY Jets was an amazing experience. I learned so much and it was amazing to be able to throw to guys like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and see what made them so special. Ryan Fitzpatrick was a great mentor to me and taught me a lot about the game of football, I will never forget that experience. I am working hard to make sure that it won’t be my final experience playing in the NFL but it was one that helped show me what it took to play at the highest level of football.
NEI: When you think back to your time at Skyline High School, is there one moment that sticks out more than others and why?
Jake Heaps: When I think back to my time playing at Skyline High School I think of the three straight State Championships we won together as a team but what really stands out to me was the commitment we all made to each other starting when we were younger, playing junior football together. We all dreamed and wanted to one day win a State Championship. We worked so hard individually and as a group in the off-seasons, attending Barton camps, and pulled as many teammates as we could to come along with us. That all culminated into the 2007 State Championship game my Sophomore year vs O’Dea. We were not going to be denied because we worked so hard, wanted it so badly, and believed in each other because we knew how hard everyone had worked.
NEI: Who was the best player you ever played with and/or against, and what made them so special?
Jake Heaps: Man, that is a really tough question! I have been fortunate to be able to play with and play against some amazing players. Some are guys that are household names in the NFL right now. I think the thing that all of these guys have in common is an incredible work ethic and a desire to be the best they can be. They are willing to put the time in and make sacrifices in order to make their dreams a reality. These guys are never satisfied, they are constantly trying to find a way to become better, to improve on the previous year and that drive makes them successful.
NEI: If there was one piece of advice to give young QB’s, that you wish someone would have given you, what would it be?
Jake Heaps: There is a lot of advice I wish I could have gotten before I headed off to college and that is the reason why I want to be a Quarterback coach. I want to be able to help young quarterbacks to understand every aspect of what being a QB means. It is not just a position on a football field, it is a way of life. Quarterback is the greatest and toughest position in all of sports. It demands so much from an individual and I want to help young Quarterbacks learn how to thrive under all those demands.