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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jake Heaps signed with BYU in 2010 after a standout high school career with high expectations and future NFL aspirations.
His tenure in Provo didn’t work, and the former five-star recruit’s college career included stops at Kansas and Miami before graduating this spring.
But his professional career remains on track.
Heaps signed a contract with the New York Jets on Monday following a week of NFL rookie minicamps that came on the heels of the NFL draft.
Officially a New York Jet!! It's truly an incredible feeling to have all the hard work and dedication pay off! #JETSpic.twitter.com/2RH43EOJIf — Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) May 11, 2015
Heaps joins a crowded quarterback field in New York that includes incumbent Geno Smith, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Simms and recent draft pick Bryce Petty.
Heaps won three Washington state titles with Skyline High School before committing to BYU, but his success with the Cougars was limited. After throwing for 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman, Heaps started only six games as a sophomore and was eventually benched in favor of Utah State transfer Riley Nelson, when the Sammamish, Washington, native began to seek other options.
The signal caller played for former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weiss at Kansas. He threw for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2013, his lone season as a full-time starter after sitting out a season per NCAA transfer rules.
After completing his degree in liberal arts and sciences, Heaps transferred to Miami — and was beat out for the starting quarterback job by true freshman Brad Kaaya, a 6-foot-4, 206-pound passer from California, before the Canes’ season opener. Heaps played sparingly for the ‘Canes, completing only six passes for 51 yards as a one-year graduate transfer.
But he’s found a new chance to prove himself as a professional, and Heaps will do it in arguably the NFL’s largest media market. Heaps was one of 24 players invited to the Jets’ rookie mini-camp, joining players like tight end Mike Flacco (the brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco), former San Francisco first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins and New York’s eight undrafted free-agent signings.