Todd Heap To Enter NFL Draft

Jan. 12, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- After a junior season in which he racked up All-America honors while leading the Sun Devils with 48 receptions for 644 yards, Todd Heap announced Friday that he will forgo his senior season of eligibility to enter the National Football League draft.

Quotes from Heap's press conference follow:

Opening Statement by Todd Heap:
'I guess everybody knows why we're here, and that's because I'm forgoing my senior season to enter the NFL.

'I've thought long and hard about it. I've taken every minute I can, that's why it came down to this last day. It was a very difficult decision. A lot of long hours and effort went into making this decision. But I do have the support of a good group backing me, mainly my parents, my girlfriend.

'I've had a lot of people helping me in this process. I'm really excited to get going and make this next step in my life.'

ASU Head Coach Dirk Koetter:
'Just in the short time that I've been here, I've had the opportunity to have several conversations with Todd and his family. How impressive a guy is this? A lot of that can be attributed to his parents, they've been awesome through this whole thing.

'Todd really did his homework on this. He did so much research. He's not making a blind decision here. I've personally have talked to several people in the NFL, and I am very convinced that Todd is so prepared to make this step, probably more so than many of the guys entering (the draft).

'You know, it really only takes one team. It really only takes one team to say, yes. And as these guys get to know Todd in the NFL, not just working him out, as they meet Todd Heap the person, Todd's stock is going to rise. Todd's stock is going to rise very fast in the draft.

'He's been a great Sun Devil. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to coach him, but he's always welcome back here, he's always going to be a part of the ASU team and part of the ASU family, and we wish him the best.'

Q&A With Heap:
Did you receive feedback from the NFL regarding in which round you should expect to be drafted?
'I did go through the NFL advisory council, and I received some feedback in the mail from them. I guess they go in categories and I received the first/second round category.'

Is that feedback more important that that of scouts, coaches, etc.?
'It's more important to hear it from them than anybody else. It was just reassuring and made everybody feel better.'

What was the deciding factor?
'You know there really wasn't one deciding factor. There were so many things that went into it, a long list of pro's and con's. I can't even begin to discuss how many different things I talked about with my family, and with other people who are important to me. It wasn't one thing, it was a gathering and grouping of a bunch of deciding factors.'

How close were you to staying at ASU?
'Hey, it came down to this last day. ASU has been an important part of my life. It's gotten me to this point. I love the fans. I love the coaches I've been with, they were an important part of my life. They got me to where I am and I appreciate everything they've done for me and I've had an excellent time here at ASU, so it was a tough decision.'

How important is it for you to get your college degree?
'It's very important. Either way I was going to make it happen and make it work. I'm committed to getting my degree and helping out the statistics here of the ASU football players getting degrees.'

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