The Confidence to Slay Giants

There are a few recognizable family last names that have a long standing tradition with BYU’s football program; family names like Kaufusi, Reynolds, Anae, and Doman, just to name a few. The BYU coaching staff extended an offer to another family with a long history of playing football at BYU. That family is the Ah You family. Chaz Ah You has the opportunity to continue that family tradition.

Westlake High School prospect Chaz Ah You, who will more than likely play both ways next season for the Thunder, met with Bronco Mendenhall following a camp visit to BYU recently.

“It was kind of an intimidating experience at first sitting with Coach Mendenhall in his office at BYU,” recalled Chaz Ah You. “He’s a man that I’ve been watching for so long and been a fan of, that when I finally got a chance to sit down with him in his office I was excited but at the same time I was nervous.”

Sitting in Coach Mendenhall’s office with his parents, Chaz Ah You was asked a series of questions.

“When we first started talking he was asking me all kinds of questions about my grades and the church and things like that,” Ah You said.

Upon hearing responses that were to his liking, Coach Mendenhall began sharing an Old Testament story with the Ah You family.

“He shared a story with me about David and Goliath,” said Ah You. “When he started talking about the scriptures and the story about David and Goliath it changed the whole experience for me and my parents. It made the experience more touching in my life and to my parent’s life. I know that the church is important to my parents too, so when he started talking about the sling and rock and giving me an analogy about David and Goliath it was a special moment for all of us.”

It was an incredible experience the likes Chaz Ah You has never had before with a head coach of a major college program. Coach Mendenhall pulled out a rock and a sling setting it upon his desk to reinforce the analogy associated with him and the young David.

“He went over the about how everyone knows about the story of how David slayed Goliath, but not many really pay attention to how he was able to have the opportunity to fight against and slay Goliath. Coach Mendenhall said that the King put all of his faith and trust in David, because he knew how he was raised and what he was capable of. The king knew he had killed different animals protecting the sheep and the flocks. Coach Mendenhall kind of said the same thing. He said that he is putting a lot of faith and trust in me because he knows how I’ve been raised and how I conduct myself. He knows that I’ll conduct myself right no matter what situation I’m in or where I’m at. He knew that I would stay true to who I am.”

Chaz believes Coach Mendenhall shared that story with him for a specific reason.

“Coach Mendenhall is putting a lot of faith in me,” Ah You said. “He knows that I’m a young player that won’t play college football for many years to come. I still have three years of high school football to play and then I’m going to go on my mission. It’s just a super early offer he gave to me, so he’s putting a lot of trust in me later on.”

The youngest player that Coach Mendenhall has ever offered was defensive tackle Paul Finau. Chaz Ah You has now become the second youngest prospect ever offered by Coach Mendenhall.

“He said I was the second youngest football player that he’s ever offered,” said Ah You. “I was really surprised because I thought there would have been more. It was really humbling, but I realize that despite my age I can still do what he wants me to. He has that confidence and faith in me that I can accomplish the things he wants me to. It’s very humbling and at the same time it’s exciting with a lot of responsibility to live up to the expectations.”

Upon receiving BYU scholarship offer, Ah You instantly felt the weight of responsibility placed upon his shoulders. His quest is to now prove he is worthy of such an offer from BYU.

“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Man, this isn’t a little thing. This is a big responsibility. I can’t just sit back and be complacent. I have to work harder and be worthy of the offer.’ That’s what I was thinking about when Coach Mendenhall gave me the offer.”

The highlight of the entire experience came when looking at the faces of his parents after realizing he now had an official offer from BYU.

“The highlight of the experience was when after we talked about the story of David and Goliath, Coach Mendenhall gave me a piece of paper and asked me to read it,” Ah You recalled. “I read the ‘congratulations’ part and then I looked at my parents. We were just smiling and it was something that I’ll never forget. It was my first time getting an offer and the Spirit was really strong too.”

Although the Ah You family has history with BYU, and are BYU fans, the experience created a tighter bond between Chaz Ah You and BYU.

“It kind of created a greater bond between me and BYU,” said Ah You. “That’s kind of what the experience did for me because it was a unique experience. I have known about BYU forever, but now knowing that they want me [to play there] makes it all the much more of a tighter bond. It made it a lot stronger than it did before.”

Chaz’ father Jason Ah You, who’s brothers C.J. and Matt Ah You both played at BYU at one time, has been a long time BYU fan. His father Charles played at BYU years ago while cousins Kingsley and Harland Ah You played during the 90’s.

“He was really happy!” Ah You said. “Yeah, he was really happy for me because he’s been going through this as much as I have. He’s been waking up at six o’clock in the morning going to early morning workouts with our team. You could tell it was kind of a sweet moment for me and all of us. My mom [Joanne Ah You] had the biggest smile on her face. She was just so happy for me.”

So how is the young Chaz Ah You going to handle the recruiting situation now that he has not only an offer from BYU but from also Oklahoma State? He’ll handle it through fasting while searching for an answer on bended knee.

“Yeah, I’m probably going to pray and fast and try and stay connected to Heavenly Father so he can guide me,” said Ah You. “Then I’ll make a decision based on where he wants me to go.”

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