Apu Ika committed to BYU last summer, citing his comfort level with the coaching staff and the environment on campus, but the recruiting process might only be getting started for the talented defensive tackle.
The promising 2019 prospect from Salt Lake City (Utah) East has added Big Ten and SEC offers in recent weeks -- from Wisconsin and Vanderbilt -- and many others are expected to eventually join the race. For now, Ika told Scout.com he's happy with his pledge to the Cougars but does intend to take a closer look at other programs down the road once his recruitment enters the later stages.
"I'm not planning other visits just yet because it's still early and I just want to wait it out to see how things unfold," Ika said. "I definitely plan to look at all my options and do what's best for me after I look at recruiting classes and depth charts, things like that."
Though Ika had only played freshman ball at the time he announced his commitment to BYU last summer, he knew what the offer from head coach Kalani Sitake meant and he wasted no time to jump on it.
"Growing up a Cougar fan was a major reason why I committed," Ika said. "And I knew coach Sitake produced a lot of linemen when he was at the U, so that was another big reason. My cousin, Reno Mahe, is a coach up there and it's just a great environment for players. I was up there a couple months back with a few other recruits and it was a family-type environment over there, just very welcoming."
The Commodores and Badgers offered earlier this month and Ika, who possesses a projectable blend of size and strength, said he's interested to look into both programs at some point.
"I've always planned to take all the visits I could and then when it comes down to it, make my final decision," Ika said. "With Vanderbilt, it's coach CJ Ah You recruiting me and you can tell he's a friendly guy. Vanderbilt is great academically and that's big. My siblings and parents always talked to me about academics growing up and the importance of having a backup plan in case football doesn't work out, so I'll look into all of that.
"The Wisconsin offer was funny because I walked into football period and I was talking to coach (Brandon) Matich. Then, out of nowhere, he goes, 'Wisconsin called and offered you.' I was like, 'What?!' Coach Inoke (Breckterfield) offered me. He came down to the school a while back and they really liked my sophomore tape so they wanted to jump in there now."
In four games at the varsity level last season, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound Ika was credited with 15 tackles, including a sack. He was a top performer at the Level Up Elite camp in Utah earlier this month.