March 13, 2012

Elite 2014 quarterback has eye on camps

The 2013 class is still the focus of most college coaches, but the class of 2014 is already starting to shine.

On Tuesday, Orangebloods.com released the first edition of the Lone Star Recruiting's Top 100 of 2014, featuring many of the finest football talents in the state of Texas. It comes as no surprise that Denton (Texas) Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard was one of the first prospects listed.

At 6-2, 180 pounds, Heard is easy to spot and just in case you missed him he made sure you took notice with his play. He completed 130 of 223 passes for 2,286 yards, 28 TDs, and only 10 INTs, and he was named 7-5A Offensive Newcomer of the year for his efforts. His first year as a varsity starter had some rough times, but was an overwhelming success.

Guyer finished the season 8-4, which was certainly not bad. However, the bar has been set high for the Wildcat program, and Heard is determined not to let it drop. In 2010 Heard looked on as Rivals100 standout J.W. Walsh guided Guyer to a 13-3 record and the school's first ever appearance in the state championship game. Some might shy away from challenge of following Walsh, but Heard relished the opportunity. In fact, he made sure to watch Walsh as close as he could so he could make sure to learn every lesson possible before Walsh departed for Oklahoma St.

"I think that was the best experience because seeing him and how he took control of the game and his leadership out there and all of that I think really helped me this season," Heard said. "Just watching him and how he interacted with the guys and everything. That was something I really tried to use for this season."

Heard put the lessons to work quickly. Guyer scrimmaged 4A state champion Aledo before opening the season with a win over the Garland Owls. Then in his second varsity start, Heard and Guyer stepped onto the big stage with a nationally televised contest against area power Cedar Hill at Cowboys Stadium (aka JerryWorld). The game was a gut check and went down to the final minutes before Cedar Hill secured a 24-21 win.

As the season progressed the wins began to increase, Heard began to find his comfort zone and he hit his stride.

"I'd say probably our second district game," Heard said. "We won and everything started to click with my reads and everything I needed to see to distribute the ball. At that time I knew I can do this, I can handle this and play my game."

Guyer went on to finish tied for second in district play with a 5-2 record and went two rounds in the playoffs before seeing their season come to an end. Looking back, Heard saw himself grow so much, but there was one lesson in particular he put above all the others.

"The biggest lesson I would say was to be a leader," he said. "Be a more vocal leader and how to step out with all the guys and tell them what to do and be a vocal leader."

The learning has not stopped since the season ended. Heard is busy putting in time with his teammates and coaches whether it be in the weight room, the film room, or on the field. He turned many heads in 2011, but he is far from done.

"Right now I'm working on my strength and staying in shape for next year," he said. "I'm going over small things like drops and things right now."

This summer he also plans to hit the camp circuit.

"This summer I'm definitely going to camps. Any camp that I can. Especially locally, especially in the state of Texas. I'm going to try and see every camp I can," Heard said. "Of course I'm going to Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, all of those schools."

It is still incredibly early on the recruiting front, but college coaches have already taken notice. He admits he grew up a Texas fan, but is keeping an open mind as recruiting begins to pick up.

There will be plenty of time for recruiting in the future, but for now he is focused on what lies ahead on the field in 2012.

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