BYU head coach Kalani Sitake and his recruiting staff have brought a new and refreshing energy to Cougar nation. The vibe on campus and surrounding communities is constantly simmering into a cauldron of excitement at LaVell Edwards Stadium come game day. For one highly-rated local recruit, Chaz Ah You, he’s experienced the frenzy first hand with addictive fervor further endearing him to BYU’s rabid fan base.
“The Mississippi State game was crazy!” Ah You said. “That was probably one of the most rowdiest crowds I’ve ever been in. The atmosphere in the stadium was incredible. The crowd and the fans were just going crazy the whole time. I don’t know, it seems like that stadium is filled out every single time I’ve been there. You can’t really beat that.”
A four-star safety prospect ranked as the number one safety in Utah and second-rated in the west, Ah You holds 25 scholarship offers. Ah You has amassed an impressive prep career resume playing for both Westlake and Timpview High School. The nation’s ninth-ranked safety has stepped foot on BYU’s campus many times to see his father Jason Ah You, who is BYU’s Director of Football Athletic Relations.
“BYU is treating me good and they always show me love,” said Ah You. “I’ve been over there quite a bit with my dad being over there, so I’m always talking to the coaches and catching up with them. They treat me really good.”
Ty Detmer and Kalani Sitake have taken on the task of beating out every coach assigned to recruiting Ah You. So far BYU’s dynamic duo have done an outstanding job according to Ah You. On a personal level, Ah You praises Coach Sitake, having acquired an affinity for BYU’s new head coach.
“I love Coach Sitake!” Ah You. “I talk to all the players over there too and those guys would run through a brick wall for him. He’s a really cool coach and just a great guy to be around. You can’t say enough about him.”
When Bronco Mendenhall was at the helm, Ah You wasn’t considering BYU in the least despite the many advantages the LDS owned college presented. There was still something missing within the program, a glaring hole Ah You simply couldn’t overcome. However, that has all changed now.
“Yeah, BYU is different now with the new coaching staff,” Ah You said. “There’s the whole family atmosphere thing going on there. The players are more connected to each other and more importantly to the coaches. I know Bronco [Mendenhall] was all about that, but I think on a player to coach level there is more interaction. It’s good to see that now.”
Now that BYU’s staff has developed BYU’s new program identity, Ah You loves BYU. In fact, BYU went from being a non-contender to rising up to the top of the Ah You sweepstakes.
“I love BYU,” said Ah You quickly. “They’ve been making their way up and are high up on my list. They used to not be an option, but BYU is a serious option for me now. Yeah, I love BYU.”
That is a serious change of heart and perspective leaving BYU now as a high possibility. So, what has changed? Well, it appears the open relationship and personal connection between player and coach circumstance has blown away Ah You.
“The change in the coaching staff is what did it for me,” said Ah You. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Coach Howell, he was a really cool coach, but I talk to some of the players when Bronco was there. They just said it was really weird with Bronco and everything, and they couldn’t really talk to him or interact with him like they can with Kalani. That’s a big factor for me because I want to have a great relationship with the coaches. I really feel with Kalani I’ve been able to do that and have that connection.”
Ah You’s perspective of BYU’s value has also matured. He sees that BYU isn’t just another college where great football is played, but one that espouses the faith-based ideals of his heart.
“I like BYU a lot because you don’t just get to play good football, but you don’t just get to represent your name but God’s name as well,” Ah You said. “I think that’s the really unique thing about BYU, you know? I like that aspect a lot.”
Although BYU had recently lost to 14th ranked Boise State by one point, and have lost by a combined total of eight points in their 4 losses this season, Ah You has faith BYU will win out the rest of the season.