Rebs offer Tennessee tight end

Elijah "E.J." Epperson (TE, Humboldt, TN) - The State of Tennessee has two high D1 tight end prospects this season.

Aaron Douglas (6' 7", 240) has already committed to Tennessee, but Elijah Epperson is still wide open.

"I am mostly hearing from Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Memphis. MSU, Ole Miss, and Arkansas have already offered me. Memphis is getting ready to offer," added Elijah Epperson.

Elijah, who goes by "E.J." by his close friends and relatives, would like to hear from a few more colleges too.

"I would really like to hear from Nebraska. I am a big Cornhusker's fan. I would like to hear from Miami and LSU too."

Epperson had a chance to visit Ole Miss last Fall for a football game and liked what he saw.

"The thing I like about Ole Miss; they were the first college to ever send me a letter. It was a handwritten letter from Coach (Hugh Freeze). I have saved that letter and it sits on my wall at home. They were also the third college to offer me. Ole Miss is just a great school. I went to the N' Western State game last year. Coach Orgeron was facing his old college. It was a lot of fun. They have a good staff. I know Patrick Willis too. He loved it at Ole Miss. They also played the most freshmen in the SEC. That is a good thing."

Coach Croom from MSU has really made an impression with E.J.

"First of all, they were the first school to offer me a full scholarship. They have good recruiting coaches, and it is a small town without a lot of trouble. I like that. I do not want to be around a bunch of trouble. I am just a strong Christian country boy. Coach Croom is a strong Christian person too. I am the President of our FCA chapter, so that is a good thing that Coach Croom believes in the same values that I do."

The Razorbacks won the SEC West last season and that has stuck in Epperson's mind.

"To me, I really like the atmosphere of their games I watch on TV. They have a lot of great players. They sent a lot of players to the NFL this year. They have great recruiting coaches, and they won the SEC West, which is big to me."

The Vols give Elijah that home town feel.

"I love the atmosphere of their games. I went to their Spring game. Coach Fulmer is a great recruiter. He sent three players in the 1st round this year alone. They have my position open for some early playing time. He has been telling me that I would play a lot as a freshman if I went there. Plus, it is close to home, and they are just such great recruiters. I would be getting a good education if I went there too."

Memphis is actually the closest school to home.

"They just started recruiting me. They have sent one or two players to the league lately. They have a pretty decent program. It is not far from home, and they have a good staff."

What will be the most important factors when it comes decision time?

"I just want to feel at home. I also want to get some early playing time and be around a good Christian coaching staff. I want to win some games and get to the league. But the most important thing is getting my degree. I will be the first person in our family to attend a college, so everyone is counting on me, especially my mother (laugh)."

For now, E.J. is looking to show his skills on the high school field.

E.J. Epperson on the hardcourt
"I play basketball too, which helps me with my jumping ability and keeps my stamina up in the offseason. But I am a football guy. Basketball just passes my time. I did make All-State in bball too though. I think TE is my best position because I feel I am gaining some weight now. I am up to 6' 4", 225 and still growing. I am getting bigger/stronger/faster everyday. I have real long arms which gives me an advantage over the defenders. Plus, I am a real good blocker."

Make no bones about it, although Epperson is a great blocking tight end; he can also catch and run with the best of them.

"I had 23 catches for 685 yards and 6 TD's. At defensive end, I had 68 tackles and 8 sacks. I made All-Region, All-State, and All-West TN."

Elijah reports a 2.5 GPA / 15 ACT.

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