Here we are 3 years later and there is a star receiver on the cougar squad. Fortunately in some circumstances, and unfortunate in others that receiver is not Ross Apo. That honor goes to Cody Hoffman, Riley Nelson's favorite target. Meanwhile, Ross Apo has taken to a role that is not what cougar fans had hoped when he signed a few years ago.
|Ross Apo scores his only TD of the |
2012 season against Hawaii
Visions of 75 yard touchdown bombs, and 100 yard game seem to be visions of the past. Apo in fact, has yet to record a 100 yard game while wearing cougar uniform. An even more eye popping stat is his career high in receiving yards in a single game is 71 yards against lowly Idaho State last year. Those are not the numbers cougar fans foresaw, not to mention I'm sure Apo had imagined when he changed his college destination.
The emergence of Cody Hoffman surely has a lot to do with Apo's lack of stats. Hoffman has showed the ability to make amazing catches, get open and be utilized in other parts of the game-plan namely kickoff returns.
I for one, wonder why Ross Apo continues to get shafted on balls that are thrown his way. Take for instance this entire 2012 campaign so far. Only 1 time have I seen a ball thrown deep for Apo. Usually those routes are intended for Hoffman. Also, Apo gets all the screen plays thrown his way. The bad part about those play calls, are that he is flat footed instead of throwing to him on the run. His speed and talent are then neutralized by the close proximity of the defense, that only allow a short gain on those plays.
I attribute Apo's lack of excitement directly to play calling made by offensive coordinator Brandon Doman. He seems to have no clue how to utilize the highly touted Apo and his abilities. While Hoffman has made a name for himself after being not so highly recruited, Apo has yet to gain that respect from his coaches. However, he hasn't been given the opportunities.
In order for this inept BYU offense to make strides, Ross Apo has got to be more involved. He needs to be given more intermediate routes that make him a legitimate threat and option outside of Hoffman. This will force the defense to have to commit both safeties to each receiver, and then open up the middle more for underneath routes.
As long as Doman neglects to utilize Apo's abilities on the other side of the field, he may never become what he could have for the cougars. He may be the receiver that could have been, but never was.