Cyclones Spotlight: Carson Epps

AllCyclones.com is catching up with 2015 commits leading up to National Signing Day. Up next is receiver Carson Epps

What stood out in your visit to Iowa State and conversations with coaches that made you want to commit?

When I started getting interest and Tommy Mangino came to Jenks to see me, that being one of my biggest schools showing me interest at that point, that was kind of exciting. It’s Big 12, so a lot of the games will be close to my family. I have a cousin that graduated from Iowa State, Jeremy Reeves, and then obviously Denver [Johnson] was committed up there, so all those things kind of drew my interest in wanting to hear back from them as far as getting an offer and wanting to get there on an unofficial or official visit.

Coach Rhoads kind of sealed the deal for me. Just the love and commitment he shows to the players and to the program and how bad he wants to win. On the flip side of that, in the questionnaire we had with the players, how much they appreciate coach Rhoads and how much they want to win, they’re right behind him, they’ve got his back and he’s got theirs. Just kind of that family, team atmosphere really impressed me and was something I like.

When you think about your future and think about the coming months, what excites you about Iowa State and getting to Ames?

Just being able to play with my cousin and being able to play a high quality of football in the Big 12 Conference. Being on TV playing against some of my former teammates. We’ve got Steven Parker at [Oklahoma] and Dylan Harding at [Oklahoma State] and stuff like that.

The Big 12 was kind of a big deal for me, because 90 percent of my family either lives in Oklahoma or they live in the Texas/Dallas region. For them to have the opportunity to come up and see me play and people that haven’t gotten a chance to ever see me play having a chance to come up and watch football. Then when we make those long trips to West Virginia or something like that, obviously they still get to watch me on TV. It’s always good for me to be able to have my family come and watch me play and support me or whatever.

Some people watch film and see film, but for people who haven’t seen you, how would you describe your game to those people?

I think one thing, I kind of picked this up from Jenks, is the college-style offense that we run and our plays and our checks and stuff like that. I think that prepares me for the next level. I think I might have a step up on the next high school receiver that’s coming as far as learning plays because I kind of already know the terminology and coverages.

Then just the ability for me to get open because of recognizing coverages and recognizing techniques and stuff like that. When I catch it, I pride myself in not going down with one guy tackling me, trying to make the first guy miss. Speed off the line is another thing, being able to threaten those DBs vertical is another strength I like to use.

If you had to key in on something that you want to work on between now and when the season starts, what would it be?

The catching part, that kind of comes easy, but I’m trying to get more balls. Catch off the jug machine, hook up with the quarterbacks and run some routes, just route-running, making sure my hands are as sure as they can be. I’m definitely getting in the weight room trying to get up to the college weight and speed as far as doing my agility stuff and doing my strength stuff.

In our offense at Jenks I’ve played anywhere from like a fullback in the backfield to all the way out. I’ve played the slot, I’ve been in close. I don’t think that’ll be a problem for me, but obviously the inside guys are usually the quicker, quick routes where the outside guys are more fades and long balls. Like I said, I just need to get out on the field and work on some route-running and coming in and out of some breaks, which I think is already pretty good but I can always improve.

Obviously you have a unique situation with having a cousin at Iowa State before you and having a cousin come with you. How much did you talk to Jeremy Reeves and Denver Johnson?

I talked to Jeremy a little bit in the recruiting process. He kind of connected me with Coach Mangino and Coach Rhoads and stuff like that. He’s told me nothing but good things about Iowa State. He’s about the family part, and I’m going to get a good education and play a high level of football.

Denver, same thing. He was up at Iowa State a few times, I think, for some unofficial visits or maybe just one time. But he’s kind of been around the coaches and he told me nothing but good things. From his side of the family and Jeremy’s side of the family, I just heard the drive isn’t bad, everybody kind of comes up and supports, my family already has a lot of Iowa State gear just from supporting Jeremy, so that was pretty cool.


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