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In a brash NFL world, Ravens' Todd Heap has relied on faith to give him structure

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  • Slim Shady 801 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 8, 2011 9:00 p.m.

    As a convert to the church at 36, people like Todd Heap represent the Church in a way that makes sense to me. He is clearly a solid person who can relate to anyone. Not everyone joins the church because someone knocked on their door. His life is a mission, not a two year experience. He is influencing people by his example.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    Jan. 8, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    Good to see the young man living up to his principles. Sounds like he had a very good childhood, that taught him good values and he has had the courage to live by them.
    With that attitude about politics and voting to assure we try to keep good people in pulic office, Heaps may have a future in politics.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    Great story!!! I love it. Todd sounds like a great dude and someone I would love to hang out with.
    There are plenty of great Mormon players that have played for other teams other than BYU. I always get the feeling that that the BYU fans think they are a little less of a person because they didn't play at byu.
    It's great to see Todd being a great example to everyone in the world who is paying attention to the sport of football.
    Keep up the great work Todd.

  • Two Cents Springville, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    Thanks for the nice article. Didn't know much about this player, and I was happy to read about him and how he stands out from the NFL crowd. I may just cheer for the Ravens since the Colts are out. :)

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    Todd Heap is the Dale Murphy of the NFL. Great article. Thanks.

  • da bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 1:05 a.m.

    Awesome article, I didn't know he was LDS.

    Mr Red-
    You are crazy to think BYU fans think less of LDS members that play somewhere else! Most Y fans I know (me included) don't care if the person is LDS and doesn't care wether he is playing for/against the other team. If anything, we want people that share similar believes to do well wherever they play, and any other religion or group would feel the same way.

    By the way, back in September against Washington, BYU brought back and introduced all their storied QBs during half time, and guess who got the loudest applause?
    Jim McMahon did, and he isn't LDS (and doesn't live anything like an LDS person). ...but he was a crazy guy who played awesome on the field. That's why we love him!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    Atta boy, Red. Judge others because you think they are judging!

  • AZnewser Snowflake, AZ
    Jan. 9, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    @Red
    As a BYU alumnus, of course I first cheer for fellow Cougars. As a sports fan and a Mormon, I "seek after" anything praiseworthy or of good report. Todd Heap sounds like a great guy, and the story is both faith promoting and evangelical. Of course, Dennis Pitta is my favorite Raven!

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 9:20 a.m.

    Nice article. I like these close-ups of individual players. Who wrote this one?

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Your wrong Red. I follow all players who are LDS in the NFL. I don't usually watch the games but I am equally happy for all LDS players success as well as all non-LDS players who have these same qualities and I believe there are many. On the other hand I look forward to the retirement of showoffs and those who promote damaging lifestyles. People like Heap have a great influence on many people being in the spotlight as they are. Don't judge, you might get people thinking that all LDS think that way. I was taught better, weren't you?

  • optimist Sun City, CA
    Jan. 9, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    Question:

    What if any, relationship is their between the Ravens Todd Heap and BYU's Jake Heap(s)?

    Thanks for your anticipated answer?

  • Jared Gainesville, FL
    Jan. 9, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    Re: optimist. No relationship.

    Thanks for this nice article. I knew Todd in the "old" days before his NFL time. He was a great person back then - very nice, courteous, and intelligent.

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    Great article. Someone spent a lot of time doing research and interviews.

    Red is right about the fact some people see BYU as religion when really it is just an institution. Going to another school doesn't make you any less of a good member of the church. Red just made a generalization that he probably shouldn't have.

    I for one cheer Heap, Ngata and all the other NFL mormon players who didn't go to BYU. I hope they all play hard and use their stardome well!

  • Samwise Provo, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    Red, I am sure you meant well with your comment, but you can count me as yet another BYU fan who proves your generalization wrong. As a BYU fan, I first cheer for former BYU players (LDS or not) who go pro, but I also cheer for and have just as much respect for people like Heap, Ngata, and others who are LDS and go pro but chose not to go to BYU (or didn't even consider BYU).

  • Uncle Charles Where freedom and liberty reign, utah
    Jan. 9, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Another Mtn View Toro makes good in the NFL. ToroNation is everywhere!

    Strange that they mention Robinson as his high school when actually it was Bernie Busken.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 7:10 p.m.

    Good to hear fellas. You are restoring a little of my faith.

    It's apparent that I know all the wrong BYU fans!

  • I Will Be Till I Die Holladay, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Great story! Glad the DNews picked it up. As to the question regarding who wrote the story, it's at the top of each page - it appeared in the Baltimore Sun, was done by one of their staffers, and was obviously geared to their local (and mostly non-LDS) audience.

    Go Ravens! (especially Reid and Kruger!!)

  • utahmtnman Park City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    Stormin' Mormon

    That's how Chris Berman referred to him once when he was galloping to the endzone. What a fantastic nickname! I'd like to know the genesis of it.

    What a timely article as Todd had a career day today. Congrats to the Ravens!

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Great story about a great guy. What a class act. Just like Ngata, Kruger, and Pitta. Also loved the recent stories about Duece Litui from the Cardinals and all the Oregon LDS players. All great examples about living life with faith and reaching high expectations.

    I always root for the Cougars, but also root for such great guys like Todd Heaps.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    BYU supporters say that they don't look down on non-BYU Mormons. That is true of the large majority of BYU supporters. However, a few in the minority do this and make the whole look bad. Non-BYU Mormons like myself have to be fair and not judge the overwhelming majority of BYU supporters because of the bad judgments of a few in their fan base. I just hope they do the same when a few in the Ute fan base makes the whole look bad.

    This was a nice article. But I will root for the Mormons on the Steelers as my favorites!

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Optimist-
    I do not know if Todd Heaps is related to Jake Heaps.

    But, here we go BYU haters- Todd is related to Max Hall. Oh the shame!!! Todd and Max are 2nd cousins. Todd is a cousin once-removed of Danny White and his great uncle is Whizzer White, the ASU great who still owns 20 some records at ASU. I love BYU, but ASU is in Todd Heaps blood.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    Sorry-it is Todd Heap. Just got excited. That is why I assume he is not related to Jake Heaps.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Jan. 10, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    Why does a person's religion have to be brought up at all?

    Why would you discriminate against those NFL players who are not LDS?

    Many of you LDS never even MET the guy, but you claim to be a fan simply because he is the same religion as you?

    What does religion have to do with football? Why do you try to force the two together?

    This is silly.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 10, 2011 2:57 p.m.

    Sweet game he had this weekend!!! Good to know he is a family man of good character and faith. (Although apparently not enough faith to serve a mission....)
    OK, y'all, bring it now...

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 11, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Great article. I love to watch Todd Heap play. I had a missionary companion from Arizona who was a huge ASU fan that was named Ralph Heap. Ralph would be about 60 years old. Does anyone know if their is a relationship between Ralph and Todd? The aritcle said that Todd's father's name is Bob.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    Jan. 11, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    Why bring up his religion, you ask?

    This is a human interest story about an individual in the public eye -- a Pro-Bowl caliber player on the Ravens. In an environment often given to excess, as the writer notes, this guy Heap stands out. And it sounds to me that this guy's adherence to his religious beliefs are the reason this guy stands out.