Jayhawks (finally) confirm Jake Heaps transfer

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A little over six weeks ago, reports surfaced that Jake Heaps would be transferring from Kansas.  The Jayhawks denied the initial reports, and head coach Charlie Weis got miffed when asked about Heaps’ status two weeks later.

Now, however, there’s some clarity to the situation.

In a release this evening, KU confirmed that Heaps is one of two seniors who have decided to pursue other opportunities. The other is wide receiver Andrew Turzilli.

Both players have graduated and will be eligible to play immediately this season if they remain at the FBS level.

Regardless of where Heaps lands — speculation has run the gamut from Boise State to Hawaii to SMU to Fresno State to Utah State — it will be the third stop of his collegiate career.

In December of 2011, it was reported that Heaps would be transferring from BYU to Kansas. After sitting out the 2012 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Heaps started nine games for the Jayhawks in 2013. During that lone season on the field in Lawrence, Heaps completed just 49 percent of his passes and tossed 10 interceptions versus eight touchdowns.

Reports that Heaps would be leaving Lawrence came two weeks after Montell Cozart was tabbed by head coach Charlie Weis as the Jayhawks’ starter.

Heaps was a four-star member of the Cougars’ 2010 recruiting class and the No. 1 pro-style QB in the country according to Rivals.com.

“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 a statement. “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.”

Turzilli, a three-star member of KU’s 2010 recruiting class, started seven of the 24 games in which he played for the Jayhawks. He finishes the KU portion of his career with 27 receptions for 491 yards and two touchdowns.”

“Andrew, who graduated in May, and Jake, who will graduate at the end of June, have decided to explore other opportunities,” said Weis. “I’m proud that both of these young men leave Kansas as graduates. I would like to thank them for their contributions to KU football and wish them the best.”

In addition to Heaps and Turzilli, KU also announced that running back Darrian Miller was leaving for “personal reasons.”  Miller’s departure is actually a bit of a blow as he finished second on the team in rushing in 2011 and 2013 — his official bio states he took classes, but did not play in any games in 2012 — with 599 and 322 yards, respectively.

Versatile playmaker Janarion Grant back to 100 percent for Rutgers

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The opening of the Big Ten’s Media Days Monday brought some welcome news for Rutgers fans.

One of the most explosive and productive players in the conference, Janarion Grant went down with a serious-looking ankle injury — at the end of a 76-yard touchdown — late in the first half of a Week 4 game against Iowa that ultimately ended the wide receiver’s 2016 season.  Grant was in non-contact mode this past spring, leading some to wonder whether he’d be available for summer camp or even the start of the upcoming season.

Yesterday, Chris Ash put any such fears to rest by declaring Grant completely recovered less than two weeks ahead of the start of camp.

“He’s 100 percent… He’s had a great summer,” the head coach said according to nj.com. “He was limited through the spring semester, but this summer he’s been pretty much full go for the majority of the summer. He looks great, he’s in great shape, he’s put weight back on. We’re obviously excited to have him back.”

At the time of the injury, Grant led the Scarlet Knights with 15 receptions and was second on the team with 143 yards rushing. His 562 all-purpose yards were tops in the Big Ten entering Week 4 play last year.

He had six touchdowns in those three-plus games and did it in a quartet of ways — rushing (three), punt return (one), kick return (one) and passing (one).

Suffice to say, Grant was named as part of the Hornung Award watch list earlier this month.  He’s on the watch list for the prestigious Maxwell Award as well.

Ohio State DL Darius Slade to transfer

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In a day packed full of Big Ten moves becoming official, Ohio State has added a roster move of its own.

Urban Meyer revealed at the conference’s media gathering in Chicago on Monday that defensive lineman Darius Slade will not return to the team.

A 3-star recruit out of Montclair, N.J., Slade (42) redshirted in 2014 and missed the ’16 campaign with a lower leg injury. He racked up seven appearances in 2015.

Slade was expected to back up Sam Hubbard at defensive end.

Meyer said that he “thinks” Slade is off to Arizona State. If that’s true, Slade would have two years of eligibility to play as a Sun Devil unless the NCAA approved a waive for him.

Indiana RB Camion Patrick, LB T.J. Simmons medical hardships

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Indiana running back Camion Patrick and linebacker T.J. Simmons will not return to the team this fall after being granted medical hardships, the program announced Monday. Both players would be fifth-year seniors in 2017.

Simmons appeared in 37 games with 35 starts before suffering a season-ending injury that knocked him out of the 2016 campaign entirely. He collected 213 tackles, six sacks, 16.5 TFLs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a Hoosier. Simmons will remain with the program as a student assistant.

“T.J. was a three-year starter and a tough kid that I was looking forward to coaching,” head coach Tom Allen said in a statement. “He did everything that he could to get himself back from his knee injury, but he was unable to reach a place where he could consistently play. T.J. is excited about his new role as a student assistant coach in the weight room and on the field. He will be helping his teammates get better. T.J. has such a passion for the game and this program, and I am thrilled to have him help us breakthrough.”

Patrick arrived from East Mississippi Community College — of Last Chance U. fame — and proceeded to sustain injuries to his ACL and a shoulder. He caught six passes for 154 yards with one receiving touchdown and one rushing score for Indiana.

“Unfortunately, Camion dealt with multiple injuries during his time at IU and was never able to fully recover,” Allen said. “He has worked hard in the classroom. Camion has battled to get back following each injury, but his body has let him down. He recognizes that. We recognize that, and we want to help him finish strong in the classroom and help him create a bright future for himself.”

Penn State K Joey Julius no longer with the team

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Joey Julius was everyone’s favorite kickoff specialist last season. Sadly, he won’t be your favorite kickoff specialist in 2017.

At Big Ten media days on Monday, the Nittany Lions unveiled their 2017 roster and Julius was not on it.

Listed at 5-foot-10, 258 pounds, Julius announced in May he would seek treatment for an eating disorder.

“I have been struggling over the last couple months with my eating disorder,” he announced at the time. “It got to the point where I had to return to St. Louis to seek further treatment at the McCallum place. Recovery is a wonderful and beautiful thing that I am working on returning too.”

Julius handled 93 kickoffs for the 2016 Big Ten champions, averaging 62.1 yards per kick with 45 touchbacks. His kickoff average ranked 47th nationally, and his 48.4 touchback percentage was 40th in FBS. Julius made 10-of-12 field goals and 20-of-24 extra points in 2015 before ceding the job to Tyler Davis last season.