Freshman Spotlight: TE Dedrick Epps

We took time to talk with freshman TE Dedrick Epps to see how his season is coming along.

How is the season playing out for you?

"I started the Duke game and I think I played a pretty good game. Now I am on the scout team trying to help out the defense. I just want to contribute to the team this year. That is what I am here for."

Did you expect for the redshirt to be taken off this year?

"It was just something that I had to do. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the team and if it is for the betterment of the team then I am down for it."

What has been the hardest adjustment for you from high school?

"Learning the plays and adapting to the speed of the game from high school. The guys are also a lot stronger, so you have to do your thing in the weight room. You can't just kid around in the weight room; you have to get strong and take care of your body."

What do you need to work on the most in practice?

"I need to improve my blocking. I think my catching ability is pretty good, but it could be improved too."

What have you picked up from Greg and DajLeon from watching them every day in practice?

"I'll watch their blocking steps and technique. I watch them when they run their routes and how smooth their routes look. How they catch the ball, tuck the ball after they catch it, and how they run after the catch. I watch everything that they do."

Have you talked with the other freshmen like Jason Fox, Sam Shields and Javarris James on what it will be like playing in a year or two?

"We are always saying that we can't wait until our junior year and our senior year. It is going to be hard to stop us."

What is your weight at now?

"I am at 240. I came here in the summer at about 238. I had gained a little weight before I came down to UM then I lost a little bit during the summer workouts and I have gained it back when we started lifting weights in the later part of the summer."

How important was the summer training for your development and transition of coming into college?

"That was very important because we had weight training every day and we had morning runs every day. It helped me get used to the humidity down here because in Virginia it gets hot, but it is not humid, it is more of a dry heat. My body had to get used to the humidity. The weight lifting program is, of course, a lot more serious here than in high school too, so I benefited a lot from the summer workouts."

How has it been being away from home during your first semester of college?

"I wanted to leave Virginia so that is why I came down here. It has not been a hard move for me. I like to travel a lot, so I didn't mind coming here. I like it a lot."

David Lake can be reached at

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