Benched BYU quarterback Jake Heaps told reporters after practice Wednesday night that it is "inappropriate" to talk about his future with the football program now because it is taking the focus away from the team and the improvement it has made heading into the final three regular-season games.
"Well, I mean, gosh, I think that is kinda inappropriate to talk about right now," he said when asked if he would be at BYU next year. "I mean, we've got four weeks left in the season, and I don't think that's anything anybody should be talking about. I am focused on being here at BYU and giving this team and this season the best that I have. So that's all I am really focused on."
Tuesday, coach Bronco Mendenhall said he meets weekly with Heaps to discuss the sophomore's situation and that Heaps was open to the possibility of redshirting next season because new starter Riley Nelson is a junior and perhaps holding Heaps back a year would create the ideal separation between the two.
What are Heaps' feelings about redshirting in 2012?
"I am just not worried about it right now," he said. "You know, I am not worried about it, and I think everybody else should not think about whether I am going to be here or not, or whether I am going to redshirt or not, or whatever the case may be. It is taking away from this team and what we have going on for us the rest of the season. I mean, all our guys are worried about, all I am worried about, is coming to practice today, and then coming to practice tomorrow and the next day. And then we play Idaho, so really just taking this day by day. I am going to give my 100 percent and commit to this team and this program throughout the rest of the season. So that's all I am focused on."
A reporter reminded Heaps that he turned down scholarship offers from more than 30 schools to attend BYU, and asked if BYU is where he is supposed to be:
"I feel throughout this whole thing that this is an experience that I am supposed to be going through and that I am supposed to carry out through the rest of my career," Heaps said. "Hopefully it will make me a better player. It is what I hope to do and plan to do. I am excited to have this opportunity to learn from and grow and hopefully make the best situation out of it."
A few more comments from Heaps, who patiently waited after practice and spent a good 15 minutes answering questions, an interview session that has to be a record for someone who hasn't taken a meaningful snap in a game for more than a month.
Heaps on how he is holding up:
"I am just taking this in stride and trying to make the best of it. That's really all I guess I have to say about that. I am taking what I have been given and am trying to make the best of it. That's all I can do."
Heaps on whether this will galvanize his relationship with coach Brandon Doman:
"Yes, it definitely can make a relationship or break a relationship. I think we have both handled it well and I think through this whole thing we can all be smiling together and having a good time. So we will see."
On how Jim McMahon went through a similar thing:
"Yeah. That's a positive aspect to look at. To take the opportunity to take a step back and learn is a big opportunity. You can take full advantage of it, or you can waste it, so I plan on making the best of any situation that's been given to me."
On how watching from the sidelines for awhile could help him improve as a quarterback:
"I think you just look back at your game and what you can improve upon and look at your strengths and your weaknesses ... You can only grow physically and mentally and take full advantage of it. That's the biggest positive that you can, is getting another year of experience, getting another year of being engrossed at the college level. You just keep working hard and continue to work hard for you and your teammates."
On whether he's talked to any former BYU quarterbacks:
"I have talked to Robbie Bosco, and we have talked quite a bit. It has been nice to have him to reach out to, and talk to. So it has been great."
On who initiated the weekly talks with coach Mendenhall:
"Yeah, I mean, we have been meeting on a weekly basis. I wouldn't say every day, but on a weekly basis, however the case may be. It is something that both he and I have wanted to do. More him, must to make sure that I am doing OK and hanging in there. So it has been good to be with him and talk with him, and go through this experience."
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