Position: Wide Receiver
From: Arlington, Texas
Weight: 207 lbs
Ross Apo was a highly-touted recruit, who had originally committed to Texas, but ended up coming to BYU along with Jake Heaps and Zac Stout, and he lost his entire first season due to a broken finger [Warning: graphic]. In 2011 as a redshirt freshman, Ross finished the season second on the team in receptions (34), receiving yards (453), yards per catch (13.32), and TDs (9), receptions per game (2.6) and receiving yards per game (36.8). In 2012, his stats were somewhat diminished, following an off-season shoulder surgery. Notably, his TD count dropped to 1, while all other stats dropped only minimally to moderately. He had 31 receptions for 311 yards, and average of 10.03 yards per catch. In 2012, Apo averaged 11 yards per catch in games that were won, and just 7.8 yards per catch in losses. This may be largely due to the talent level of the teams BYU played last year, but it may also indicate that Apo's productiveness is a good barometer to indicate team success.
Ross Apo is a very talented wide receiver. He has good size (at 6'3") and combines that with effective route running, which allows him to easily make routine catches. But there's more. Apo has great ball awareness, and is able to use his height and agility to make catches in traffic, and has the strength to come down with the ball securely protected. In the open field, he has the ability to turn and accelerate very quickly, which allows him to almost instantly create space between himself and would-be defenders. You can check out these abilities for yourself through this highlight reel.
What to watch for
So far, Apo has been beset with injuries that have kept him from fulfilling his potential, and he has spent his time at BYU living in the shadow of Cody Hoffman. Another limiting factor in his career has been lack of consistency at the quarterback position, as he has played with Heaps, Nelson, Hill, and Lark. Apo's chemistry with Heaps was apparent, especially as his production waned under Nelson last year. Apo should have a breakout season this year under the new up-tempo offense of Robert Anae, and (hopefully) a strong performance from returning QB Taysom Hill. Want to know some more? Check out the video below, from BYUtv's True Blue, that aired this Spring, where Apo discusses his game and the Anae offense.
*All stats retrieved from BYUcougars.com and cfbstats.com.