Player Spotlight: Zach Epps

In the bustling Kansas City suburb of Overland Park lies Blue Valley West High School. The football program only started in 2000, but the Jaguars have emerged as a local powerhouse winning the 5A state championship in 2007. One of their rising seniors for the '10 team is Zach Epps. With strong showing at recent camps, Epps could be sitting on the verge of his first offer.

"I'm being shown interest from Tulsa, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Kansas at the Division 1 level," said Zach Epps. "Drake and Illinois State have also expressed interest in me."

Out of those schools, Epps has visited and camped at three of them: Tulsa, Kansas State, and Kansas.

"The Tulsa camp went well," said Epps. "I think I proved myself. The coaches were evaluating me. They said they would let me know if they had an offer for me in July. I liked their faculties and campus. The coaches were all very enthusiastic. It's not a place I see where you'd get lost on the depth chart. It seems like the coaching staff does a good job of helping you move up the ladder."

Next for Epps was a trip to Manhattan, Kansas.

"I think I did well there," Epps said of his performance. "I made some big plays against some tough competition. It was great to play in the stadium. I hope that I made a good impression on the coaches. Coach (Chris) Cosh talked to me about being a leader at my high school."

Epps accompanied some of his high school teammates for a 7-on-7 in Lawrence.

"It was a good day," said Epps. "I spoke a lot with Coach (Reggie) Mitchell. When they had me at defensive back I locked down my man pretty good and made some big plays on offense."

Epps, 6-5, 187, ran a 4.63 40 at a combine. Primarily being looked at by colleges at the wide receiver position, he has played both safety and cornerback as well for Blue Springs West.

"I'm tough to beat in the red zone on a fade route," said Epps of his game at receiver. "I've improved my speed so this year I think that I'll be able to open up more of a cushion on deep routes. I'll be seeing more hitches and slant thrown my way."

Epps has started every since he was a sophomore for the Jaguars. He wants to do what he saw the 2007 te4am do, win a state championship.

"We have 15 senior starters on this team so the expectations are high," Epps said. "Anything short of winning state we'll consider a failure."

Epps had 53 catches as a junior for 779 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games. Epps had eight receptions for more than 100 yards in one-half of play against area rival Bishop Miege. He plans to play more in the defensive backfield this season and will face-off against highly touted quarterback Bubba Starling at Gardner-Edgerton in the first game of the year.

Football is in Epps' blood. His uncle Jack Epps played at Kansas State and also professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs. Another of his uncles went to Florida State, and his father played two years at Tulsa. So Epps does have some family ties to a couple of the schools showing interest, however there are certain things he hopes to find in a program.

"Right now I wouldn't say I have any favorites," said Epps. "I like them all. I'm just waiting to see which ones will offer. I'd like to join a team where I can see the field fast. Also I'd like to be somewhere my family can come to watch my games."

At Blue Valley West, Epps is a two year letterman at basketball. He is also in the FCA and involved in a mentoring program for incoming freshmen. He sports a 4.2 in advanced placement classes, currently ranked No. 34 in his class. Epps is interested in studying business or psychology on the next level.

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