Last summer, then-Texas quarterback commit Tyrone Swoopes benefitted from the high-level instruction he reached from Elite 11 coach and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer and his staff in California. This summer, it will be current Texas commit Jerrod Heard who will benefit from the intensive work on his quarterback skills after receiving his golden ticketover the weekend.
Invites were harder than ever to earn this year as Dilfer and company opted to narrow the field, but Heard made the cut after his performance at the Dallas Elite 11 regional back in May. The 6'3, 190-pounder performed well in the Pressure Cooker drill that simulates a two-minute situation at the end of the camp to help him an invite.
A starter since his sophomore season when he replaced current Oklahoma State quarterback JW Walsh, Heard is already more polished than Swoopes was at a similar age and has been widely regarded as a safe take in the 2014 class. However, that isn't to say that he doesn't have some room for improvement -- while the ball gets where Heard wants it to go, he doesn't always spin it as well as he could, more than just an aesthetic concern because it impacts his ability to cut the wind.
Dilfer told me while in Dallas that the issue often comes down to wrist load in the latter part of the delivery, thereby reducing the amount of wrist snap upon release. It's one of those small but important areas in which Heard can improve and Dilfer is someone who is highly qualified, hard working, and genuinely cares about quarterback development, believing as he does that mechanics limit a quarterback's upside more than anything else.
There's no question that Heard can get it done on the football field after willing Denton Guyer to the state championship last fall on his capable arm and legs, but he's still not a finished product.
After Heard spends a few more days with Dilfer and the Elite 11 staff, there's also no question that he's going to emerge as a better quarterback and that will only benefit the Longhorns in the long term.