Denton Guyer dual-threat quarterback Jerrod Heard said Thursday he "definitely" is still committed to signing with the Texas Longhorns despite the resignation of coach Mack Brown.
Heard, who sparked Guyer to a 31-14 win over Brennan in the Class 4A Division I state two weeks ago, talked about his future at UT and his stellar senior season at Guyer after a workout for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"I'm very anxious, very eager to get going," Heard said. "I want to help Texas get back to where it's supposed to be, and start a new dynasty, start winning championships."
Heard, 6-foot-2½ and 195 pounds, will play for the West when it meets the East in the All-American Bowl at noon Saturday at the Alamodome.
"It's definitely been like a dream," Heard said, referring to his life the past two weeks. "You can't ask for anything better than this, winning state and then having a chance to play with some of the best high school players in the country. It's a great feeling hanging out with these guys this week. It's amazing."
The All-American Bowl, an all-star game that features more than 100 of the best high school players in the country, has been played annually in San Antonio since 2002.
The West squad includes two players from the San Antonio area – Boerne Champion place-kicker Clayton Hatfield and Warren defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao.
Heard was voted the Offensive MVP of the 4A Division I title game after compiling 254 yards of total offense and accounting for three touchdowns against the highly heralded Brennan defense.
Ranked among the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, Heard completed 9 of 9 passes for 95 yards and one TD and rushed 22 times for 159 yards and two TDs.
UT expected to hire new coach by mid-January
Brennan had posted nine shutouts and given up only 51 points before running into Guyer, which also won the 4A Division I state championship in 2012.
When the Wildcats opened the scoring on Heard's 14-yard pass to David Haynes, it marked the first time all season the Bears had trailed.
"That was pretty much our plan, to come out strong and get it rolling fast," Heard said. "I think our offense and our defense did a wonderful job, and our O-line was just amazing out there. They did their job and we just kept the ball in our hand and didn't have any turnovers, and got in the end zone."
One of the top players on the Brennan defense was end Derrick Roberson, who also has committed to UT. Roberson finished the season with 20 sacks, but didn't have one in the state final.
"I talked to him after the game and just encouraged him," Heard said. "We told each other to keep balling and have fun."
UT is expected to hire a new coach by the middle of January. Some of the coaches who have been mentioned as candidates for the job include Art Briles (Baylor), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), David Shaw (Stanford) and Charlie Strong (Louisville).
The name of former NFL coach Jon Gruden, who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory, also has surfaced in connection with the job.
"I really don't have any preference, but I know the University of Texas is going to get the right coach," Heard said. "I know they're going to get the right coach for the offensive system and personnel, and try to get back on top. I'm not really worried about that. I'm just waiting to see where it goes from there."
Heard said he will complete his final semester at Guyer this spring and enroll at UT in the summer. Given how needy the Longhorns are at quarterback, Heard could wind up getting playing time sooner than later.
Heard passed, ran for more than 4,300 yards
Case McCoy, who started most of the 2013 season at quarterback for the Longhorns, completed his eligibility in UT's 30-7 loss to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Monday night.
Junior David Ash began the season as the Longhorns' starter, but wound up playing in only three games before a head injury kept him off the field for the remainder of the year.
The only other quarterback who saw action in 2013 was freshman Tyrone Swoopes.
Heard said it "hurt" to see UT lose in the Alamo Bowl.
"I was definitely pulling for them," he said. "I hate that they ended the season with a loss, but it's going to get better."
Heard had good things to say about junior running back Malcolm Brown, a Steele graduate who led the Longhorns' offense with 130 yards rushing in the Alamo Bowl.
Brown started the last four games of the season, averaging 115.5 yards.
"He showed up real good," Heard said of Brown. "I can't wait to be in the backfield with him and get snaps with him. It's going to be great and exciting."
Heard passed for 2,148 yards and 22 TDs, and rushed for 2,172 yards and 26 TDs as a senior, helping Guyer finished 14-2.
Nebraska, LSU, Ohio State, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma State and Baylor were among the other schools besides Texas that offered Heard a scholarship.
"I just felt like Texas was family," Heard said. "I knew a whole bunch of people there. It's a great school. I fell in love when I visited Texas."