Visit reinforces pledge for Epps

This past weekend marked the third time Raymond Epps was in Tempe, but the first time the Arizona Western tight end came in as an official visitor. If there ever was any doubt in Epps’ ASU commitment due to a visit he took to Louisville a few weeks back, that was erased as a result of his time in Tempe.

“I really liked the visit and they made me feel at home,” Epps said. “It was good to see the facilities and where I will get my education. I met a lot of good people and it was a great experience.

“I took the visit to Louisville to get out a little bit and see how things are. The (ASU) coaches understood and they are loyal to me and I am loyal to them. I thought I may take a visit to Purdue because it’s on the way home (Epps is from Illinois) but I’m not sure. I’m graduating less than month from now so I don’t know if I will have time, and I need to focus on where I’m going to go. I’m solid with ASU and I will sign them after I graduate.”

Needless to say that Arizona State’s 52-31 win over Washington State was one of the highlights of the tight end’s weekend as the 6-5 235 Raymond Epps got to see one more time and in-person the Sun Devil offense at work and how he could potentially be utilized next season and beyond.

“We came out kind of flat in the first half,” Epps described, “but in the second half we played very well. D.J. Foster had a great game. I really feel that I would fit in very well in this offense because a lot of things they do come easy for me because I’m a converted wide receiver from high school. So running routes is something I feel I would excel at.

“The coaches like my ball skills and my speed and think that I can make the offense look a little better. I feel like I’m as good of a blocker as I am a route runner, but that’s something I definitely need to work on more. That’s a skill I want to take to the next level too.”

Epps had to redshirt his sophomore year at Arizona Western because of an early season torn meniscus in his knee. The good news that came out of this injury was that Epps was granted a medical redshirt, and now this mid-year transfer will have three years of eligibility when he arrives in Tempe in January 2015.

“That injury was really a minor one,” Epps described, “and having the surgery actually really helped me out because it (the meniscus) has been bothering me for a while and I was still playing on it. Now I feel better than ever and my leg feels stronger than before. So it was positive thing getting surgery.

“I’m very close to 100 percent now and I will be 100 percent the first day I walk into the facility (in January). Every day I get a little better.”

As much as Epps thinks about his football future, his educational future is very much on his mind and that was one aspect of his visit that was most impressive to him.

“I met with the academic advisor (Jean Boyd),” Epps said. “It was great meeting with him. I know that at the end of the day school is most important, because even though football is a great sport it doesn’t last longer than your education does. He did do a great job getting that point across.”

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