For BYU wide receiver Ross Apo, it was just about perfect.
With 9:52 left in the game, he was able to haul in a touchdown pass from Jake Heaps to bring the team within six points of the lead. Given the environment they were in, along with it being his first start with Heaps as his quarterback, it could hardly have been better.
Apo has readily admitted since he committed to BYU that he wouldn’t have done so had Heaps gone elsewhere. It’s been well-noted how close the two have become from the time they were being recruited up until now.
“It was incredible and it was something I’ll never forget,” Apo said about his first touchdown. “To do it in that stadium, against an SEC team on national television. I mean, it could have been anyone, but it happened to be me getting that pass from Jake, and that will always be special to me.”
With 5:02 left in the game, it was linebacker Kyle Van Noy who brought the team all the way back in, forcing and then recovering a fumble for a touchdown.
For Apo, again it was just about perfect.
“I’m very close with both Kyle and Jake,” said Apo. “We became best friends before all three of us got to BYU. So yeah, I thought about that quite a bit after the game about how great it was that we were able to be the guys that scored the touchdowns. It’s something we’ll all remember because it was the first game that we all started together.”
While they were waiting to get to BYU, the three of them often talked about what they’d do when they all got there. What happened this past Saturday against Ole Miss was close to what they imagined.
“I think everyone has big dreams going into college football with what they might accomplish,” said Heaps. “It was just one game for each of us, and hopefully it’s just the start. Not just the start for us, but for the entire team. We’re just part of a team here, and everything we do is for the team and everything any of us are able to do is because of a team effort.”
Heaps, Apo and Van Noy weren’t just good friends coming in, each of them also represented three of the very best the program has ever brought in at their respective positions.
Heaps was the headliner, being named as the number one quarterback prospect in the country when he signed in 2010. Both Apo and Van Noy were rated as four-star prospects, with Apo ranked as the No. 14 receiver prospect and Van Noy as the No. 11 OLB prospect nationally by scout.com.
Given each of their pedigrees coming in, the performance each of them put forth against Ole Miss was expected.
“We all expect a lot out of ourselves,” said Heaps. “So it was sort of a cool thing that each of us were able to score and help the team come out with a victory. I was happy for both Ross and for Kyle, but I would have been just as happy for anyone else if they had been the guys. It’s a team effort here, and it takes a team — all 11 guys — to make anything happen on the field, and we have that at BYU with the players we have here.”
It was the reason why each of the three highly touted prospects chose to come to BYU in the first place. They signed on not to make the team a great program but to add to the greatness that they felt the BYU program already had.
“This is the best place for each of us to reach our potential,” said Heaps. “We knew that coming in and is why we all signed. The coaches, our teammates and the school was the best combination of things we could hope for. We’re certainly excited about our whole team right now and what we’ll be able to do going forward.”