- William Wilkerson, RecruitingNation
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Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) was on vacation in South Padre, Texas, with his family when he got word from his high school coaches that he had received an offer from Texas.
An immediate celebration ensued.
Odds are there was a similar reaction Tuesday, when the 2014 quarterback informed Texas’ coaching staff that he had accepted the scholarship offer.
Heard (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), who confirmed the news to HornsNation, is the lone 2014 quarterback with an offer from Texas. He is the fifth commitment of the class and the most hyped of the bunch thus far.
It wasn’t the first time Heard visited campus. He also attended one of Texas’ camps in June when co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin took him and 2013 quarterback commitment Tyrone Swoopes through a workout.
“It’s a great school. I had a great time down there at the camp playing with Swoopes,” he said. “It was fun. We really worked on my throwing and my technique mostly.”
Heard said he was pretty nervous with Harsin watching his every move, but the prospect found his rhythm pretty quickly to show the guy who would become his future coach why he was so highly touted.
“I was pretty nervous because it was Harsin,” Heard said. “It was a big deal to practice with him. I knew who he was but I just had to do me out there. I just did what I had to do.”
Heard plays in one of the tougher districts and regions in the state at the Class 5A level, but he showed plenty of moxie and poise as a sophomore by completing 130 of 223 passes for 2,286 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 650 yards on 136 carries and five touchdowns.
Heard’s dual-threat capabilities are certainly a quality that Harsin would prefer in his quarterbacks. He hand-picked freshman Jalen Overstreet in 2012 and gained the commitment of Swoopes in 2013.
But Heard believes another facet of his game has gotten the attention of Texas’ coaching staff.
“I think it’s because of my pocket presence,” he said. “I stay in the pocket longer than most. That’s what they have told me. That’s what they really like about me.”
Heard understands that this commitment is going to bring added responsibility, and an ever-growing target on his back as opposing defenses look to make a statement against him. It’s a fact that he is already taking advantage of.
“I just saw it as motivation for the season,” he said. “It is going to be a lot of pressure on me because teams are going to build schemes for me to try and mess me up. I know I just have to keep playing and prove them wrong as well.”
Heard chose the Longhorns over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, LSU and Nebraska. But it really came down to LSU and, to a certain degree, Ohio State.