Provo • From making a splash to playing flash.
That’s a good way to describe highly recruited Timpview High athlete Chaz Ah You’s first year at BYU.
The four-star recruit made a splash on Signing Day last February when he arrived at LaVell Edwards Stadium via helicopter to announce he was joining the Cougars. Ah You started training camp in July as a safety but was moved three weeks ago to the position that BYU calls the “flash” linebacker.
“I saw it coming when I signed,” Ah You said. “I just didn’t think it would come this early in my career. I was expecting it to come next year, maybe the year after. But I am happy playing it. It feels natural. I love it.”
Ah You got in for a few plays in BYU’s 20-6 win over Portland State and made two tackles, including one for a loss. He didn’t play in last week’s 27-0 loss to LSU but still is listed as Fred Warner’s backup at flash, along with junior Morgan Unga, for Saturday’s game against Utah.
“There is still a lot of competition for playing time at that spot, but as of right now, I feel like that is going to be my spot until I graduate,” Ah You said.
Safeties coach Ed Lamb said the flash position is more of a hybrid safety-linebacker position and gives the Cougars a third safety on the field.
“Chaz has great growth potential,” Lamb said about making the switch. “He has big bone structure, and he is already over 200 pounds. But he’s got speed and range.”
Ah You had offers from several Pac-12 schools, including Utah, UCLA and Stanford, but chose BYU because of the coaching staff, he said.
“It is unlike any staff that I have been around,” he said. “And then the other major factor was the dudes in the locker room. They took me in before I was even on the team and before they even really knew who I was.
“The players at the other schools, they looked down at me a bit just because I was from Utah and Utah high school football is not as respected. But here, they didn’t care where you are from. If you are coming here, you are going to be part of the brotherhood and nothing else matters.”
Ah You’s father, Jasen, is BYU’s director of football athletic relations. Jasen Ah You worked with the Utah defensive line as a defensive administrative assistant from 2007-10, so Chaz is familiar with how Utah views the rivalry.
“It is as big to them as it is to us,” said Chaz, who was adopted at birth by Jasen and Joann Ah You.
Ex-Utah assistant Tuiaki stays even-tempered
Everyone knows that BYU coach Kalani Sitake was on Utah’s coaching staff from 2005 to 2014, but some might not realize that BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki was a defensive graduate assistant at Utah in 2008 and the Utes’ defensive line coach in 2013-14.
However, Tuiaki, who grew up in Provo, said the rivalry game is “just another day in the office” for him.
“It doesn’t really bother me,” he said. “I don’t know if it bothers anybody else. But I told somebody that I interviewed yesterday that if I had to fight my brother at the end of this week, we would shake hands at the beginning and then we would get down. And after that, we would hug. So none of that stuff bothers me.”
Falling behind early
Utah has scored first in each of the last five rivalry games. Three of those touchdowns came via interception returns or fumble recoveries in the end zone. Utah’s Sunia Tauteoli snared a ball that deflected off BYU freshman Aleva Hifo and returned it for a score to put the Utes on the board first last year.
“I don’t think we started off right last year,” Sitake quipped. “I believe it was a pick-6. So let’s try not to do that this year. That will be an improvement.”