As BYU gets set to hit the road and travel down to the state of Texas, Ross Apo plans on reconnecting with Tayo Fabuluje, who at one time suited up as a Cougar of BYU. Apo and Fabuluje were also high school teammates.
“I’ll probably end up calling him here soon,” Apo said with a smile. “He’ll probably end up saying, ‘We have a really good defense’ or something like that, so I'm expecting him to say something about that.”
While Apo hasn’t called his old friend Fabuluje just yet to talk about the BYU vs. TCU game at Cowboys Stadium, a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN, he has spoken to him often in the past after Fabuluje transferred.
“He was like, ‘Yeah man, they run us to death!’” Apo said with a sheepish grin on his face. “He was like, ‘They have us running suicides running backwards and backpedaling!’ So he said they do a lot of running.”
And what was Apo’s response to Fabuluje?
“Well, he knows what we are doing here,” Apo said with a laugh. “Maybe he couldn’t handle it and that’s why he left.”
All joking aside, Apo did say that Fabuluje missed being with his former Cougar teammates.
“He said that he did miss all the guys here,” Apo said. “He said he missed being around all the guys and the friends he made while he was here. I guess he was just wanted to go back home and was a little homesick.”
While attending BYU, Fabuluje played on the defensive line under Coach Kaufusi. Since transferring to TCU, he’s been switched to the offensive side of the ball.
“TCU switched him to the offensive line where everybody else wanted him to play,” said Apo. “He was a defensive lineman here but they switched him over there. I don’t think he’s playing this year because he transferred last year.”
When Apo returns home to Texas to play TCU, he isn’t just excited about the challenge or playing on ESPN in Cowboys Stadium. He’s also excited to see Fabuluje again.
“I'm really excited to go back home and see him again,” Apo said. “He’s like a brother to me and even lived me with me for two years back in Texas, so it was kind of hard for him to leave here. I just told him that he needed to do what he felt was best for him and he felt he needed to go back home. I'm excited to see him again. He’s a really good guy.”
While Fabuluje is ineligible to play this season due to transfer rules, Apo will take the field in front of a lot of friends and family.
“There’s going to be a lot of people there watching from back home,” Apo said. “It’s a place right where I live, so I have to have a big game. I have to have a big game even though I'm preparing like it’s any other game. There will be a lot of people from my high school and just a lot of friends.
“The stadium is probably around five minutes from where I live. The only thing is, it’s going to be on a Friday night and so there will be a lot of other games going on at the same time, but there will still be a lot of BYU fans there.”
Like the University of Texas, TCU and Gary Patterson also recruited Apo while he was catching passes at Oak Ridge High School.
“Yeah, they recruited,” Apo said. “I wasn’t really interested though because for me it was either UT or BYU, so it wasn’t that much of a hard deal for me.”
And just like he did against Texas, Apo wants to make a statement that he’s right where he’s supposed to be.
“Just like I did against Texas, I want to do the same thing against TCU. I’ve got to because this game isn’t going to be easy, so I think I have to have a good game, and not only me but the entire team, to come away with a win. It should be a good game.”
He better have a good game, or he’ll have some explaining to do during the next phone conversation with his old friend Tayo Fabuluje.