Apo has something to prove

He's from the Lone Star State and at one time was committed to play for the University of Texas. Then, in an Iggy's restaurant in Salt Lake City, he publicly declared his commitment to the Cougars of BYU. Now the independent-minded Ross Apo will face the powerhouse program he said no to with one thought in mind: that he has something to prove.

Ross Apo is excited. In fact, he can't wait to get back home to Texas to put on a show in front of attending family and friends who will be there to watch Apo play against the team he had once been committed to.

"Words can't even explain how excited I am to go back home to Texas," said Apo. "I have a lot of friends that go there, and I know people on the team, and I decommitted from there, so I have to come out and play hard. I'm very excited."

With his friends and family in attendance, Apo naturally wants to give them something to cheer for.

"I just want to play well in front of them, and it's a big crowd too," said Apo. "If you don't want to play in front of a big crowd, then something's wrong with you."

Hailing from Oakridge High School in Arlington, Texas, Apo has played against a lot of talent currently on the Longhorn roster, and although he hasn't contacted any of them for some friendly ribbing, Apo is very complimentary of their football skills.

"I haven't gotten in touch with anyone out there, but I played with Eryon Barnett [6-foot-2-inch, 195-pound sophomore cornerback that could be lined up across Apo come game time]. Then there is Mike Davis [6-foot-2-inch, 188-pound sophomore wide receiver], and he played at Skyline. They're all really good."

Apo has, however, spoken to many of his non-football friends that currently attend Texas.

"I have some friends that go to Texas and they said, ‘We'll be on the sidelines yelling at you!" said Apo while smiling. "I guess they'll be sitting behind our bench.

"My friends will be wearing BYU shirts that go to Texas and they said they will be cheering for BYU this week."

Those Texas students aren't the only ones who've, figuratively speaking, decommitted from Texas. Apo also did the same, but it wasn't just for one game.

"Yeah, that's all they've been talking about," Apo said with a smile. "I would just say that my decision to decommit from Texas was based on what was best for me."

With Apo lining up against the team he pulled a bait and switch on, one would think he would be a bit concerned that he'll be singled out, but that isn't the case according to him.

"Ole Miss was my first game and once I get in there I'm not thinking about anything really other than I'm playing a game," said Apo. "After the game I start thinking about it, but during the game I'm just out there running around having a lot of fun."

Year in and year out, Texas coach Mack Brown hauls in a topnotch recruiting class. Apo, a four-star recruit and the No. 14 receiver in the 2010 class, was among those Brown offered, and he committed soon afterwards. Now, he wants to prove that his decision to come to BYU was the right one.

"Yeah, I feel like I have something to prove," Apo said. "I feel like I have to show that I made the right decision to come to BYU."

Apo's secondary scouting report

The type of secondary coverage scheme Apo expects from the Longhorns is similar to what he saw against Ole Miss.

"I haven't really watched their defense as a whole and I usually just watch the DBs," Apo said. "They like to match up a lot and do one-on-one. Sometimes they'll come up, but a lot of times they'll play five yards off. They're confident that they can come up and press. They play a lot of zero-man [zero-man coverage is man-to-man coverage] but will mix in some zone. It will be a lot like Ole Miss."

Against Ole Miss, Apo scored the offense's only touchdown, sparking the Cougar offense back to life. Against Texas, Apo expects to reach pay dirt again.

"Yeah, oh yeah," he quickly said when asked about scoring again. "We've got some good plays coming."

Who stands out

The player that stood out the most to Apo in the Texas secondary is team captain and senior safety Blake Gideon, who is a four-year starter (playing in 39 games). Gideon has been named to the Thorpe Award watch list.

"He's been there for a while and kind of knows everything that's going on," Apo said about Gideon. "I think the corners are kind of young, but Gideon will be someone to look out for.

"He's good at covering and he's not afraid to come up and hit someone. He's good at pretty much controlling the DBs and telling them where to go. He's a good captain."

How Texas compares to Ole Miss

In regards to athleticism, Apo feels the secondary of Texas is very comparable to what he saw down in Oxford, Mississippi.

"I think they're a lot alike," Apo mentioned. "They have great athletes, fast guys that will come up and play you, and they're not scared. Sometimes they're a bit undisciplined though and sometimes you can catch them looking in the backfield, just like that post-corner I ran. The Ole Miss cornerback was looking at Jake [Heaps] and I broke off the cornerback, so if we can just execute off of their mistakes we should be good."

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