In-Person Scout: Jerrod Heard

In-Person Scout: Jerrod Heard

LonghornDigest.com was on hand to take in Jerrod Heard's seven-touchdown performance in the state title game. Check out our scouting thoughts below.

What can you say about a guy who scores seven touchdowns on the biggest stages? I'll try to put Heard's performance, and talents, into perspective.

I've seen some compare him to a young Ell Roberson, and I don't really like that comparison much. Roberson was such an elite runner, and was better in that area than Heard. But Heard is already so much more polished as a passer than Roberson was. Roberson was somebody that you held your breath whenever he was going to throw up until his junior year of college. Heard already has two 2,000-yard passing seasons under his belt, and shows the ability to pick teams apart in that area if they aren't careful.

Heard wasn't perfect as a passer in the state title game. In fact, there were two throws in a row that showed areas he could work on. On the first, he had an inside receiver down the seam on a vertical route, but he tried to hum it in before the linebacker could get there. It was a tough throw, and the linebacker broke on it well enough to prevent the completion. But if Heard held the ball a split second longer and put air under it, he would have had a huge play. On the very next play, Guyer ran a clear-out concept with Ellis Jefferson running a delayed slant route underneath the clear out. On this one, Heard held the ball a step or two too long, and the linebacker got a hand on it. If he would have hit the receiver coming off the break, again, he would likely have had a big play.

It's tough to gauge Heard's arm strength from that one game. He didn't have a single play where he stepped in and delivered a high-RPM ball into a tight area, and Guyer never asked him to make an "arm throw," like a deep out. Heard's arm doesn't appear to be a detriment, and could even trend into the "strong" category, though it doesn't appear that he has a howitzer. Heard's throws lack the Tyrone Swoopes vapor trail, though Heard is better at touch throws and is considerably more accurate than Swoopes is.

As a runner, Heard is tremendous. He always appears under control, has great vision and cut-back ability. His acceleration is excellent, and he has enough top-end speed to create big plays at the next level should he get into the open field. While not a bigger guy — Heard told me after the game that he weights 190 pounds right now, and he's probably somewhere around 6-foot-3 — he doesn't have any problem lowering his shoulder and getting what he can, and that showed on a third-quarter touchdown when he ran through two tackles, ran over a third tackler head-on, then muscled past a fourth for a touchdown. Heard probably has top-end speed on Swoopes, though the latter has more power as a runner and accelerates just as well, if not better, and is one of the best QBs in the run game that I've seen.

Why compare Heard to Swoopes? Because the two will likely be competing for the starting job after David Ash graduates. I don't think there's any doubt that Heard is more polished at this point than Swoopes is. Heard is asked to do more things in Guyer's offense, which is a multiple and varied attack that should prepare him well for his time at Texas. Heard is a better and more accurate thrower, while Swoopes is an unbelievable force in the quarterback run game. And it's probably worth saying that Heard is a better runner than Swoopes is a thrower.

It's hard to go wrong with a pair of highly athletic, highly tooled quarterbacks like Heard and Swoopes, and it will be fascinating to see that battle play out over the next few years.

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