Thursday will go down as one of the biggest days in BYU recruiting history.
BYU went three for three Thursday when talented four-star quarterback Jake Heaps, former Texas commitment Ross Apo and four-star linebacker Zac Stout committed to BYU at a news conference at a restaurant in Salt Lake City.
Heaps, who is 6-foot-2 an 195 pounds, was first to announce to announce for the Cougars. The four-star prospect said he could not pass up the opportunity to play for BYU, a school he grew up idolizing as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Article Continues Below
"This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family," Heaps said at the press conference. "I want to thank all the college coaches that believed in me and gave me offers. I had 26 offers and I took all of them very seriously. This was a very difficult decision for me, but after looking at all of the options seriously, there was only one place for me."
But Heaps wasn't the only one to make an announcement on Thursday.
Apo, who had been a long-time Texas commitment, then took the podium after being introduced by Heaps. He flashed a smile several times and said he just felt right about committing to BYU.
"As Jake and I discussed the things that were most important to us, we thought an environment with little distractions was important to us," Apo said. "I don't feel like I need to be in a BCS conference to compete for a national championship. It's my decision to play for BYU. This is the place for me."
Heaps and Apo quickly became friends early in the recruiting process and their strong bond was evident at the recent Palo Alto NIKE Camp when the two spent 20 minutes following the camp talking about everything from recruiting to family.
Apo and Heap's decisions were expected.
However, Stout's commit was somewhat of a surprise to many observers.
The four-star linebacker from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian had given very little clues that he was leaning BYU's way. With offers from Arizona, BYU, Colorado State, Nebraska, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State, Stout told Rivals.com reporters as late as Tuesday that he was still thinking things over. But he did say he would make a decision before his season started.
That decision came Thursday.
"My announcement might come as a shock to some," Stout said. "But only one school could deliver the four things most important to us - education, faith, family and football. So I've decided that BYU is the best fit for me."