Coaches pick Idaho 9th; Epps dismissed

THE 2014 VANDAL PASSING ATTACK was dealt a harsh blow Sunday when Idaho announced that senior wide receiver DEZMON EPPS was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. Earlier in the weekend, the Sun Belt Conference announced its Coaches' Poll and the Vandals were picked to finish 9th in the 11-member conference.


The following is an official press release from University of Idaho Sports Media Relations:

University of Idaho football coach Paul Petrino announced Sunday senior wide receiver Dezmon Epps has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules.

“We have the highest standards and expectations for our players as student-athletes and citizens,” Petrino said. “We clearly outline the consequences when these expectations are not met.”

One of Idaho's top targets heading into the 2014 season, senior wide receiver Dezmon Epps is coming off a 2013 season in which he was named a 1st Team FBS All-Independent team selection after gaining 980-yards on 79 receptions and scoring four touchdowns in his first season at Idaho -- a season in which he made the Biletnikoff Award Watch List and was ranked 24th nationally in receptions per game and 42nd nationally in receiving yards per game. One of Idaho's fastest players last year, he also returned punts (20 for 138 yards) and kickoffs (14 for 283 yards).

After a strong showing throughout spring camp, the Vandal wide receiving corps has been considered a team strength as the season approaches. With the likes of junior college transfers Kenny Torrence (a 3-star prospect with sub-4.40 speed) and Jermaine Johnson (6-foot-4 target clocked at 4.45 in the 40) joining the team this fall, combined with the emergence of talent within the roster in converted quarterback Joshua McCain, sophomores Deon Watson and Richard Montgomery, and redshirt freshman Jacob Sannon (among others), expectations have been growing for this unit. The loss of an athlete like Epps means someone within the depth chart will have to step up to fill the productive void he will leave behind.

Fortunately, this is a position Idaho should be able to draw from numerous sources.

Vandals picked 9th by Sun Belt Coaches

This fall the Vandals will be competing in the Sun Belt Conference as a football-only member after a season as an FBS Independent last year. Although Idaho will not be eligible for post-season play due to a failure to meet APR (Academic Progress Rate) minimum requirements under former head coach Robb Akey, the team will be battling for position in the final conference standings and individual player honors.

For future reference, the Sun Belt now has four bowl tie-ins: The New Orleans Bowl, the GoDaddy Bowl, the Camelia Bowl, and the Cure Bowl, and is also part of a coalition that will send teams t the Miami Beach Bowl and the Bahamas Bowl on a rotating basis.

But focusing back on the 2014 season, the Sun Belt Coaches ranked their teams as follows (points in parentheses):

1. UL-Lafayette* (121)
2. Arkansas State (102)
3. South Alabama (98)
4. Troy (84)
5. UL-Monroe (78)
6. Texas State (70)
7. Appalachian State (47)
8. Georgia Southern (44)
9. Idaho (29)
10. Georgia State (27)
11. New Mexico State (26)

For the official Idaho press release, click the link below:

LINK: Official Idaho Athletics Site Story

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