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Originally published Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Skyline's Jake Heaps appears headed to BYU

Two sources Wednesday indicated the Skyline quarterback will pick BYU over Washington on Thursday.

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Skyline quarterback Jake Heaps, regarded as the top high-school prospect in the state and one of the top QB recruits in the nation, has picked Brigham Young University over Washington, two sources told The Seattle Times.

Two sources knowledgeable with Heaps' decision confirmed what several media outlets in Salt Lake City reported Wednesday — that he'll announce his decision to play football for BYU on Thursday. One of the sources also confirmed that the announcement would be made in Provo, Utah.

"He's made his decision to go to BYU unless he changes his mind [Wednesday night]," said one source.

Several media outlets in Salt Lake City also reported that Heaps would give a verbal commitment to BYU, where he had been expected to attend a Junior Day for prospective recruits on Friday.

Heaps, who will be a senior next fall at Skyline, participated in the Sammamish high school's spring practice Wednesday night, but declined to reveal his decision to a Times reporter.

"Everyone is just going to have to watch tomorrow," he said as he ran off the field.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is rated as the top quarterback in the country by Scout.com. He led Skyline to two straight Class 4A state titles.

He is regarded as a key recruit for the Huskies and new head coach Steve Sarkisian, who had made Heaps a priority after taking over the job in December. Heaps attended several UW practices and scrimmages during the spring and also had a meeting with coaches on campus last month.

However, he had also long had an interest in BYU. Heaps is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a sister lives in Provo. Some observers also believe he might be a better fit for the Brigham Young offense, which is predicated on shorter timing routes, as opposed to the offense Sarkisian is implementing at UW that features more long passes out of play action.

While the loss of Heaps may be perceived as a hit to Sarkisian's efforts to rebuild the Huskies, some recruiting observers have said it may not be a negative if Washington is able to sign one of its other quarterback targets. Sarkisian has said it is crucial for UW so sign a quarterback for the Class of 2010.

The Huskies have made offers to quarterbacks Jesse Scroggins of Lakewood, Calif.; and Nick Montana of Westlake Village, Calif., both rated among the top quarterbacks in the nation.

Montana, the son of Joe Montana, is expected to make an unofficial visit to UW this weekend.

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"Washington is up there," he told ESPN.com. "If I had a good visit, they could move to the top, so we'll see how it goes."

Montana added that he is "excited to see Washington, and I have a good relationship with Sarkisian."

Heaps had said publicly on several occasions in recent weeks that he had narrowed his list to five finalists — Washington, BYU, California, Tennessee and Louisiana State. Most looked at it as a two-team battle between UW and BYU, however.

Heaps issued a news release Wednesday that he would announce his decision today. It stated that he would "release more information regarding time and place as it becomes available."

The top QB in the state of Utah, Dallas Lloyd of Pleasant Grove High, announced Tuesday he will play at Stanford, turning down offers from BYU and other schools.

Washington already has nine commitments for its Class of 2010, a group that is rated No. 9 in the country by Scout.com and second in the Pac-10.

Six of those recruits are in-state, and Sarkisian had said that keeping the top players home was a priority. Washington also has a history of often signing the state's top QB, most recently with Ferndale's Jake Locker in 2006. Locker has two more years of eligibility remaining and will be one of three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster next season, along with sophomore Ronnie Fouch and incoming freshman Keith Price.

Washington and BYU play three more times in a series that began last fall in Seattle — in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com; Tom Wyrwich: 206-515-5653 or twyrwich@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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