It all happened one Halloween night in 2012. Some guys, later determined to be BYU football players, walked into your friendly neighborhood Rancheritos looking for some spicy, delicious Mexican food. You know Rancherito’s–it’s open 24/7 and it’s literally a rock’s throw from the BYU campus.
Minutes after linebacker Zac Stout and a host of other football players entered late that Halloween night, in walked two other guys dressed in pink tutus, arm and arm with their girlfriends.
It might have looked like a scene from any 1980s movie–except Rancheritos wasn’t even in 30 locations across the Wasatch Front back then and there happened to be guys in pink tutu getups in a restaurant.
The scene played out on surveillance video like this: Dude No. 1 in the pink tutu started smack talking these football players with necks as big as the dude’s thighs. Some words were exchanged as the football players admired the pink tutu wearing dudes girlfriends from afar and well, all Hell broke loose in Happy Valley.
How could it not if your girls were getting hit on by BYU football players–especially when the guys in tutus didn’t know these guys happened to be BYU football players? It’s like walking into a gunfight with a novelty sword–things probably aren’t going to go well.
Details at that point become a little hazy for one particular subset of people wearing pink tutus. Suffice it to say they were getting hit on in a different way and punches were thrown–mostly by the football players–which left one person in a pink tutu reportedly knocked unconscious, lying on the floor of the restaurant.
Even though the incident itself was mildly hilarious to many–and became an insta-YouTube sensation–it did have far-reaching consequences for the football players involved in the Halloween night altercation.
Stout was charged with assault, a Class B misdemeanor and so was defensive back Joe Sampson–now a former player. Both were kicked off the football team and out of school.
But Stout persevered. He got back into school, taking classes in 2013 at nearby Utah Valley University in Orem–keeping his grades up to remain eligible to return to BYU, according to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune on Wed. Sept. 17.
Then Stout, who once stood arm and arm with Jake Heaps and Ross Apo as the new generation of BYU star recruits–and was now shamed–was re-admitted to BYU in winter 2014 and walked on the same football team that at one point considered him one of their prodigal sons.
Then Stout–not exactly Rudy Ruettiger, mind you, because of his afore-mentioned standing on the team–was named starting linebacker this fall. Then he got his scholarship back. The warm fuzzies you get–like you get from watching Rudy on Netflix–is you learn that Stout went through an arduous rebirth, according to his father Gary, to get to this point in his life.
Then against Houston, on 9/11–the ultimate day of redemption for many Americans–Stout got his. As Houston’s quarterback backpedaled, looking for a way out, he couldn’t find one. Stout, who had come on a blitz, toppled over the QB in the end zone for a safety. For the game, he had four tackles–three unassisted.
For Stout though, it was more than just two points for his team. He had come all the way back from his lowest point in life, standing atop the biggest stage he could have ever imagined. Not only that, he leads the Cougars with 20 total tackles on the year–a far cry from where he was last year when he wasn’t even able to play the game he loved.