More on receiver Ross Apo, BYU's self-described "neat freak"
While working on this article about BYU receiver Ross Apo for Friday's Salt Lake Tribune, I asked one of Apo's best friends on the team, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, to tell me something about Apo that a lot of people don't know. "He's got OCD [Obsessive Compulsive Disorder]," Van Noy said. "In his bedroom, he has everything lined up in a single file, whether that be his lotions, his toothpaste, all that. Then his shoes are always lined up just perfectly. Everything is clean and neat. His laundry is always folded just perfectly, and stacked really high." So there you go: Apo is a neat freak. And he doesn't apologize for it. "I just like being clean," he said. "I like knowing where everything is. I will have my room set, and if anything is gone, or anything is moved in any way, I will know that someone has been in my room. My mom does my laundry sometimes, and I will come home and I will have to re-fold it. I just like having everything in place, and everything neat, and I like knowing where everything is. I think everybody should look like that. It is a lot easier."
I didn't even have to ask if he makes his bed every morning. Apo and Van Noy were roommates in Provo for a couple of years. Then Apo's mother, Marianne Fa, moved to Orem from Arlington, Texas, and Apo has lived with her the past year or so. "It's good," Apo said. "She cooks a lot and takes care of me. ... My dad still lives in Texas, but he comes to all the games." I couldn't help but notice that Apo wears one of those rubbery bracelets with "Prague" on it. It was a gift from his girlfriend, BYU soccer player Jessica Ringwood, who traveled to Europe this past summer with the women's soccer tam. The article touched upon Apo's readiness level for Washington State (he had offseason shoulder surgery). Although Apo said he will play against the other Cougars and has returned to practice full bore, he acknowledged that the shoulder isn't totally healed. "It probably won't be 100 percent until the second or third game," he said. "But it is fine enough where I can play. As far as strength, it is not going to be 100 percent the first game. It depends on the day [how much pain he is still in]. On a good day, there is just minimal pain." Apo is one of those players who is always happy, Van Noy said. I asked Apo about that. "Oh yeah, I am just like that," he said. "I am so happy being here. I am here for good. They treat me really well here." I got a few comments about Apo from offensive coordinator Brandon Doman and receivers coach Ben Cahoon that didn't make the article in their entirety. Here the are: Doman on why Ross Apo's production went down when Riley Nelson ook over last year:"I think wide receivers and quarterbacks have a rapport. Those two spent a lot of time throwing the ball to each other last summer, and prepared to work with each other, and Riley was not in the mix in that friendship, that relationship.And so conversely, he had a really good relationship with Cody Hoffman, and you saw that chemistry once Cody came into the game. Hopefully this year, that chemistry has been built between the three of them, and we will see an increase in Ross' production."Cahoon on how Ross Apo is looking in practice:"He is working his tail off. He is coming off the line hard. He is attacking the DBs. He is catching the ball better than he ever has, so all signs have been really positive." Cahoon on why Apo's production dropped off a little the second half of the season: "I think it was just the luck of the draw. I mean, Jake and Ross were really close. They were good, good friends. They worked out together all the time. I think Ross benefited from having a quarterback like Jake who just dropped back and locked on him a little bit more than going through his reads. I think that was the case early on. So I think it was nothing more than that." Cahoon on what Ross Apo can improve on:"All areas, as everyone needs to improve in all areas. But I love the way he comes off the ball. What I think he needs to improve on is learning the offense, so he is not thinking out there. He's done a really good job of that. Then, just consistency in catching the ball. We track that, and he is definitely improved at that a lot significantly. So I am really pleased with his progress." Cahoon on whether Apo can live up to expectations and whether he deserves hype:"I don't know what kind of hype there is. There shouldn't be any hype. He had a good year last year, but he's got a long ways to go to have any hype to live up to, really. He is still young, and still developing. He works his butt off, and it is important to him. He takes his trade seriously. I don't know why there would be any hype. He's a big guy and he's tall and he's from Texas. So maybe that's why everybody thinks that he is going to be an All-American. I just expect him to be better than he was last year. And I think we've already seen that."Ivan Maisel has written a nice feature on BYU quarterback Riley Nelson regaining his starting job. Check it out here.