After several weeks of Internet speculation about Kansas University quarterback Jake Heaps' future as a Jayhawk, word surfaced Friday that Heaps plans to transfer.
KU coach Charlie Weis said in a press release that Heaps was on pace to graduate at the end of June and planned to “explore other opportunities.” As long as Heaps graduates, he would be eligible to play at a new school immediately.
Reached by the Journal-World, Heaps did not reveal any details about his plans and seemed at peace with his decision to move on.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Coach Weis to play football and earn my college degree at the University of Kansas,” said Heaps in the press release. “My wife and I have truly enjoyed being part of the Jayhawk community. We have made lifelong friends through this experience and we will always consider ourselves Jayhawks.”
Heaps tore it up as KU's scout-team quarterback in 2012, and hopes were high for Heaps entering 2013. But an inconsistent offensive line in front of him, poor play at the wide-receiver position and his inability to escape trouble when plays broke down led to a disappointing season from the junior from Sammamish, Washington.
The arrival of new offensive coordinator John Reagan in the offseason gave Heaps hope for a bounce-back, but the veteran QB was beat out for the starting job this spring by sophomore-to-be Montell Cozart, who started the final three games of the 2013 season.
In his lone season at KU, Heaps competed 128 of 261 passes for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Also Friday, Weis officially announced the end of the career of wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, who indicated recently via Twitter that he was leaving KU. Turzilli graduated in May.
Despite their departures, Weis appears to have no ill feelings toward either player.
“I’m proud that both of these young men leave Kansas as graduates,” Weis said in the release. “I would like to thank them for their contributions to KU football and wish them the best.”
Like Heaps, Turzilli, who made seven starts in three seasons and recorded 491 yards and two touchdowns on 27 receptions during that time, also is leaving KU with a good feeling.
“I am extremely proud to have earned my degree from KU,” Turzilli said. “I am thankful for all of the relationships I have made during my time at Kansas and I wish the entire program nothing but the best in the future.”
RB Miller finished at KU
Former four-star running back Darrian Miller's second stint with the Jayhawks has reached its end. Weis announced Friday that Miller left the team for personal reasons.
Miller's KU career was plagued by personal issues that kept him from playing a full season.
First, former KU coach Turner Gill suspended Miller for the final game of his freshman season in 2011. Then, shortly after his arrival, Weis dismissed Miller from the team. Miller, a Blue Springs, Missouri, product was welcomed back to KU last summer, after a short stint at Butler County Community College, but missed most of the second half of the 2013 season while dealing with more off-the-field problems.
Miller, who made four starts during his two seasons with the Jayhawks, leaves KU with career totals of 881 yards and four touchdowns on 180 carries.
Juco duo commits
Jon Kirby of JayhawkSlant.com reported Friday evening that a couple of junior-college recruits orally committed to join the Jayhawks.
Defensive tackle Jacky Dezir (6-foot-3, 305 pounds from the College of DuPage) and offensive tackle Jarek Smalley (6-6, 315, Garden City C.C.) both committed during their official visits to KU this weekend.
They become the second and third players in the Class of 2015 to choose KU, joining Bishop Miege High quarterback Ryan Willis.