LOGAN — Romney Stadium is one of the last places Matt Ah You expected to call home.
The Lone Peak High School graduate was a three-year letterman at BYU, starting a handful of games, and was hoping to close out his Cougar football career in style.
But things changed. For whatever reason — Ah You did not want to elaborate — he felt BYU was no longer a good fit for him personally or as a football player. So he left.
"There were lots of reasons, really," Ah You said. "But I knew it was time to move on. I wanted to play my senior year on my terms. So, really, I don't have any regrets."
Before landing at Utah State, where Ah You expects to be in the rotation at linebacker, he transferred to Central Washington, a Div. II school in Ellensburg, Wash., for "a fresh start."
One game into his senior year, however, Ah You suffered a season-ending foot injury — hardly what he'd interpret as going out on his own terms. After a year of trying to figure out what to do, where to go and how to get there, Ah You began doing paperwork. He wanted his senior season back.
A lot of schools then contacted the 5-11, 230-pounder.
"I had to make sure the NCAA would pass off on everything," Ah You said, "and then I knew what to do."
Because his season at CWU was a lost year in the eyes of the NCAA, it also counted as a transfer year. Instead of having limited options, he could transfer to a Div. I school. And Utah State, because of its proximity to his home in Utah County and his impression of coach Gary Andersen, became his new home.
"He's a great fit for us," Andersen said. "He's an experienced player that not only has a lot of football experience, but a lot of life experience. He's a leader on the field for us, and he's going to make a great contribution."
His foot is healed, and Ah You, who has a bachelor's degree in sociology from BYU, is working on a master's in education. He's married with a newborn daughter, Jayda, and his experience playing makes him a natural leader for the young Aggie squad.
"I think the fact I played and started some at BYU is good for me," Ah You said. "I know I can step in and make an impact with this team."14 comments on this story
Ah You said he has no regrets about leaving BYU when he did — just before his senior season, when he may have been a full-time starter.
"It was definitely time for me to move on," Ah You said. "I really like it up here, and I think I have a chance to be part of a really good season."