Another Ah You on BYU's Radar

Another Ah You on BYU's Radar

The Ah You family name has long been interwoven into the BYU football tapestry over many decades. For many years, the Ah You family has represented the Cougars both on and off the field. Just peeking over the horizon is another talented prospect of the Ah You family that could be on BYU's recruiting radar in the near future.

Chaz Ah You, the son of Jason Ah You and nephew of C.J. and Matt Ah You, is the next member of this talented family to watch out for. He'll only be a sophomore next year but, as a freshman who played on the varsity team for Westlake High School, he's already making a name for himself on the field.

"My first year of high school ball I played varsity," said Ah You. "I just like competing against other players and trying to be the best I can be on the field. I don't just want to be the best at my school I want to be the best on the field."

As a freshman last season, Ah You was a two-way player who manned the safety and the wide receiver positions for Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, UT.

"I played safety and wide receiver last year," said the 6-foot-1-inch, 175-pound Ah You. "I like playing free safety because it allows me to be more physical on the field. I like the physical side of football and like being around the ball."

Despite missing three games due to a concussion, Ah You still managed to do well competing with upper classmen at the varsity level despite his being only a freshman.

"I had two interceptions my first year and around 50 tackles from the free safety position." Ah You continued with a laugh "I didn't play the full year because I got a concussion. I guess I was playing too physical that day."

Prior to his freshman season at Westlake High School, Chaz Ah You attended a BYU summer football camp where he was able to display his playing abilities for the Cougar coaching staff.

"It was a good experience and there was a lot of competition too," Ah You said. "I was asked to play with the varsity players when I was there and it kind of gave me a chance to see what it would be like playing in my first year of high school on the varsity team. I kind of had a good idea early what it was going to be like."

Ah You came away with a great impression of what it would take to hone his craft and prepare for his high school debut. He also took a liking to BYU's Defensive Coordinator, Nick Howell.

"It was a good camp. I learned a lot of technique and the coach that worked with me was Coach Howell. He's really cool and a good coach. He taught me good technique when I was there. It really helped me out a lot and I liked it. When we were at the camp he really seemed like he knew what he was doing and knew exactly what he was looking for."

During the camp Coach Howell approached Chaz Ah You and let him know that the staff would be watching him grow and develop, both on and off the field. If Chaz Ah You continues along the path he has set for himself early in his playing career, BYU just might come calling.

"He came and talked to me and said that he really wanted me to play there (at BYU)," Ah You recalled. "He said that they really liked me there. He said that they wanted me to continue to improve my game and come back next year to show them how I've improved."

While performing during the camp Bronco Mendenhall came over and pulled Ah You to the side for a little talk. At first the young Ah You was a bit nervous but Coach Mendenhall quickly put the youngster at ease.

"I was doing drills and he called me over and was sitting in the golf cart. I went over and he had a little talk with me," recalled Ah You. "I was kind of nervous when he called me over. I sat and talked with him and it was just like a normal conversation. He asked me things like what my GPA was and what I do on Sundays. He also asked me how often I attend church and things like that. He mostly talked to me about off the field things that count the most in life."

Chaz Ah You was impressed that a head football coach cared more about what he was doing as a young man outside the sport of football. It was a talk that helped the young Ah You stay focused on what's most important in life.

"He kind of teaches you what's most important and that it's not always about football," said Ah You. "Most coaches want to know how fast you are and how you can help them, but with Coach Mendenhall it was different. He wanted to know who I was and if I was doing the right things. I kind of showed that he cares a lot about me and if I'm doing the right things rather than just what kind of a football player I am. He wants to know what kind of a young man I am. I think it's very important."

When it comes to BYU's football program, Ah You is right. It takes a certain type of young man to even be considered to be a player in Coach Mendenhall's program. But what surprised him the most was after the camp's conclusion when he attended a fireside with his father Jason.

"After the camp we went to a fireside and Coach Mendenhall spoke," said Ah You. "He was giving his talk and then started talking about how he met a young man at the camp and how it is young players like him that represent what BYU is about. He talked about a young man who lived his life in a way that would be the type of player that would represent his program."

Not knowing who Coach Mendenhall was talking about, Chaz' father Jason turned to him and wondered who the player Coach Mendenhall was talking about was.

"I turned to Chaz and said, ‘I wonder who he's talking about?' not knowing who the kid Coach Mendenhall was speaking about at the fireside," Jason Ah You said. "My son said, ‘Dad, I think that's me!'"

Chaz was taken aback by the comments as he wasn't aware anything from his conversation with Coach Mendenhall was noteworthy enough to be included in Mendenhall's talk.

"I had no idea Coach Mendenhall was going to do that," said Chaz Ah You. "He shared the examples and I was like, ‘Hey! That's me, that's me!' That was a great experience."

As a result of that experience, Ah You can't wait to get back to BYU's summer camp this summer to show Coach Howell how he's improved from the last time he was there.

"I'm really anxious about it," Ah You said. "I've been working hard and want to go back and show them how I've improved. I just want the summer camp to come already so I can go back and show them already. I'm working hard in the off-season to prepare myself."

A few years down the road, Ah You will set aside football and serve a two-year LDS mission. It's a desire he's had for many years now.

"I want to serve a mission and I think that's something that I owe to the Lord," Ah You said. "I think it's something that I've wanted to do and don't know any different. I plan on going then playing football afterwards. I think that's why I like schools like BYU because I can play football and represent our church at the same time."

Chaz continued with some thoughts about why BYU feels right to him.

"I like BYU because it fits my standards. I like the feeling there. It's just a different feel and they make you feel wanted and not just like another player out there. I've gone to Utah's camp and it's a much different feel there."

Ah You is a BYU fan and he attended every BYU home game in 2013 with his family.

"Yeah, I'm a fan of BYU and went to all the home games this past year," said Ah You. "I like BYU because of what it stands for and it fits with who I am."

With his family ties to BYU going back many decades, young Chaz Ah You hopes that one day his hard work, both on and off the field, will one day be sufficient enough to warrant him a coveted BYU scholarship offer. Ah You finished his first year of high school with a 4.0 GPA, so he's preparing himself in the hopes that one day on the not too far distant horizon he'll have that honor.

"It would be humbling and exciting; I would be excited if something like that happened," said Ah You. "I would be so pumped because BYU would be one of my top options. I don't know if I would commit right there on the spot because I would want to keep my options open, but BYU would be my top option. That would be an exciting and humbling thing to happen to me."

We'll be sure to keep tabs on Chaz' play over the next few seasons and report on his interactions with BYU as well. It appears that the Ah You legacy at BYU is in good hands with Chaz Ah You ready to assume the mantle.

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