One door closed Thursday on the University of Washington. As expected, Jake Heaps, the highly-touted quarterback from Skyline High School, announced he would be attending Brigham Young University in the summer before the 2010 season.
Just because the best in-state junior recruit – and arguably the No. 1 prospect in the country – has opted to leave, other options remain for the Huskies.
New UW coach Steve Sarkisian dearly wants to land another quarterback for next season's recruiting class, and two sought-after California play-callers he's made offers to remain on the board – Lakewood High's Jesse Scroggins, Jr. and Oaks Christian's Nick Montana.
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And things are moving fast. Few quarterbacks have seen their stock improve faster in the past few months than Scroggins, and Montana will reportedly participate in the UW's Junior Day this weekend, and decide on a school shortly thereafter.
"People are real high on Scroggins. He's a winner … and has gotten offers from most schools on the West Coast," said Allen Wallace, the publisher of SuperPrep recruiting magazine in California. "Montana is a kid who has more national recognition, and he's improved a lot as a junior."
Scroggins is an emerging entity. He is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. He has a big arm, has escapability and even though his supporting cast last season at Lakewood was so-so, he still passed for 2,462 yards and 23 touchdowns.
He seemingly would be a better fit for Sarkisian's offense at the UW, which takes advantage of big plays downfield.
"He is a very athletic guy. He has playmaking ability, has a nice arm and he has shown those intangibles," Wallace said. "People are catching on to him."
In many ways, Montana, who is 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, represents what the Huskies just lost out on with Heaps – high quarterback intelligence, solid mechanics and a high-accuracy arm despite not having the strength as others.
And yes, the fact he is the son of NFL legend Joe Montana doesn't hurt his cause.
"Montana can go to any school in the United States," Wallace said. "And let's face it, if Joe Montana is your dad … and he's talking to you day and night about what you did wrong today, you've got to say to yourself (as his son), 'It's got to be helpful.'"
As for Heaps, the Skyline junior held an afternoon press conference at a restaurant in Salt Lake City. He arrived in a suit and tie, read prepared statements off a piece of paper.
And when it came time to reveal his choice, all Heaps did was bow his head to put on a BYU cap.
"I know I am one player," he told reporters and fans in a banquet room. "There is a whole team of us. BYU is a tremendous program."