Like every other BYU fan, the day that Jake Heaps, Ross Apo and Zac Stout came to Iggy’s in Salt Lake City to announce they were going to be Cougars was a joyous one for me. Landing three huge recruits was going to be a huge step in taking BYU back to national prominence. While two of these high school stars are still on the BYU roster, things didn’t turn out like anyone expected.
Heaps had an impressive freshman season with 2,316 yards passing , 15 touchdowns and five wins in his last six appearances. That left Cougar fans with the thought that he would live up to the hype. Heaps did leave BYU early, but it wasn’t to take his talents to the NFL. Heaps transferred to Kansas after losing the starting job to Riley Nelson midway through his sophomore year, but didn’t find much success there either. Heaps lost his starting job with the Jayhawks as well after completing just 49 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards and eight touchdowns to 10 interceptions. He is on his way to another school to play one last season once he graduates. Reports have surfaced that the landing spot for Heaps will be the University of Miami where he will be eligible to play immediately.
Apo will play his senior year with the Cougars in 2014 and still has the potential to end his career in a big way. But very few people are planning on that after the last four years. Apo red-shirted his first year on campus due to a hand injury, before spending the last three years on the field catching passes from a bunch of different quarterbacks. Apo had a productive freshman year with 34 catches for 453 yards and nine touchdowns. His last two seasons weren’t nearly as impressive however as Apo caught 45 passes for 515 yards and four scores combined.
As hard as it is to believe, Zac Stout may have had the roughest road of the three. After a solid freshman season (20 tackles and two tackles-for-loss in 10 games), Stout red-shirted in 2011. His time and production dropped off when he was back on the field. Stout played just one game as a sophomore and recorded a single tackle before being kicked off the team and withdrawing from school following a brawl at a local restaurant. Stout is back in school and on the football team once again. All reports are that Stout is ready to contribute In 2014, but how much is anyones guess.
BYU fans will never forget the Iggy’s press conference (even if we do, Utah fans will help us remember) and all the hope that it brought. It didn’t turn out the way that anyone planned, including Heaps, Apo and Stout. Each had remarkable promise that wasn’t met for whatever reason and left us as Cougar fans wondering what might have been.
The great thing is that the story doesn’t have an ending yet (no matter what fans and critics may say). Success is still available for each of the three both on and of the field. There are still plenty of chances to be amazing even though the goals that were set by 18-year old kids didn’t turn out exactly the way they thought.