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QB coach George Whitfield thinks Jerrod Heard could play in 2014

The quarterback coach shared his thoughts on his pupil.

Jerrod Heard at The Opening in 2013
Jerrod Heard at The Opening in 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Over spring break, 2014 Texas Longhorns quarterback signee Jerrod Heard made his way out to San Diego to work with renowned quarterback coach George Whitfield.

On Sunday, Whitfield shared his thoughts on Heard after the Dallas Elite 11 camp.

The work over spring break won't be the last time that the two-time state champion at Denton Guyer trains with Whitfield before enrolling at Texas and Heard's improvement should benefit him once he dons burnt orange.

"Jerrod showed a pretty good amount of improvement," Whitfield said. "He's fast. He processes well and we will see each other again pretty soon, but I love getting those opportunities with those guys."

The trip over spring break provides evidence that Heard is willing to put in extra work to make sure that he maximizes his significant physical ability, a sign that he has some of the intangibles that are necessary at the most important position on the field.

Whitfield liked what he saw from Heard in that respect and made a comparison to several highly successful quarterbacks he has also trained.

"Jerrod is extremely confident," he said. "Zero flinch mentality. He is always game, but he's always present. Reminds me a lot of Andrew Luck. Luck and Cam Newton, when you're around them, you're going back and forth with dialogue and those guys are always present, asking questions."

"He's awfully mature for how young he is."

During the Elite 11 process last summer, coach Trent Dilfer worked with Heard on improving the mechanics of the 6'3, 200-pounder, specifically getting his front foot plan synched with the start of his delivery and making sure that his wrist was properly loaded. As a result of that work, the improvement from Heard on film was evident during his senior season and he was able to consistently spin the ball better than he had previously.

Whitfield had a slightly different focus for their recent work.

"For us, it was about making sure that everything was synced in," Whitfield said. "Draft, hitching him up, just trying to make sure everything was smooth with the overall rhythm of things, as well as touch -- being able to throw different types of balls. Everything can't come out hot and everything doesn't need to be an overarched moon shot either. He's got to make sure that he can make different sets of throws.

Whitfield also shared a prediction for Heard's immediate future, one that is fairly bold since there will be a number of more experienced quarterbacks on campus when fall practice starts.

"He's going to be tough," Whitfield said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he finds his way onto the field a little bit this year."