Number 11 catches the eye

Number 11 catches the eye

When wide receiver Ross Apo walked out onto the practice field wearing his number 11 jersey as spring camp began, all eyes focused in on the sophomore as he weaved in and out of position drills smoothly and effortlessly, living up to his nickname of "Silky." However, upon closer examination, the player wearing number 11 wasn't Apo, but rather some other receiver.

In the cone drills, Ross Apo is smooth and in his position drills he is athletically impressive. However, when it comes time for team scrimmaging, he plays the z-receiver position. So, who was it that was wearing number 11 playing the x-receiver position? Well, it was none other than 6-foot-4-inch, 204-pound freshman wideout Terenn Houk, who was not only wearing Apo's old jersey number but also playing an awful lot like him.

"Well, I'm at z right now but they have me alternating to the x-receiver position," Houk said. "Z-receiver is the field side receiver where Ross plays and x is more boundary side where Cody [Hoffman] plays. They had me at field but I also played some of the x-receiver, so they've got me going back and forth sometimes."

After Apo changed his jersey number to 1, Houk took over the number 11. And much like how Apo approached his redshirt freshman season last year, Houk is following a similar path.

"I've been working hard this offseason, especially in the film room learning plays and trying to get my footwork better and getting stronger and quicker, " Houk said. "It really showed getting in and out of my drills and especially in my cone drills. My footwork has really improved."

While he had a decent performance, Houk needs to use his 6-foot-4-inch frame to his advantage much like Cody Hoffman does when in his routes. Houk is smooth like Apo and gets in and out into his routes in similar manner to Hoffman. While Houk definitely has the physical tools like Hoffman and Apo, the redshirt freshman has some work to do in the competitive part of the game.

"In the one-on-one drills I didn't do as good as I feel I should and could have," Houk said. "I feel I should be dominating like Cody and Ross are. I mean, those two guys are go-to guys and I want to step up and be like that this year.

"I remember when I first came in, I got beasted by the corners, not being prepared. Coming out of high school you think you're the man, but when you come here everyone is the man, so I really focused hard on the offseason. Being on the scout team last year really humbled me and that forced me to work hard. Coming out now, I just really want to improve."

While Houk did receive some reps at the x-receiver position, he's still behind Apo and a few other receivers on the depth chart. He's hoping to change and climb up the depth chart over spring camp to be in the mix at some level by the time BYU faces Washington State in the season opener.

"I'm behind Ross right now but, like I said, I played on the other side as well," Houk said. "I'm also behind a few other guys but I want to show coach that I can come out and get the job done. My goal is to rise up and compete and contribute if I can.

"I want to show the coaches that I'm working hard to help the team in any way I can this year, if I can. I feel like I've got the skills to further improve and be like Ross and Cody and be the type of receiver they are. I just need to keep working hard and improving to get there. I'll get there eventually."

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