We met with BYU WR signee, Kody Epps, to discuss his BYU recruitment. You can watch parts two and three of this interview by clicking on the links below:
Casey Lundquist: Kody, how are you doing today?
Kody Epps: I'm great! I'm doing very, very, very great.
Casey Lundquist: So, let's go back in time a little bit. Tell me about your time at Mater Dei. You were behind a few really talented receivers and then kind of exploded onto the scene as a senior. What enabled that that growth?
Kody Epps: A lot of what enabled that growth to happen was just a great foundation- from the support of my family that I got, from the support of my coaching staff, from the support of just Mater Dei as a whole going to that school.
It's a lot of great people so you're able to feed off of a lot of great energy, a lot of things to pick up on, a lot of tools that you could pick up on from other people. And yes, it was a lot of great guys in front of me. I had to wait my turn, wait for my shot with my spot. But in all honesty, it's a blessing to me to be able to sit back and learn from those guys so that when it was my time, I got a good shot at doing great things. I wasn't rushed into having to make big plays for the team. I wasn't rushed to do anything, it was more developed naturally, organically, and when my name was called, I was able to make a lot of those plays.
So, what enabled that success that I had in my senior year was just the support and the camaraderie of my team, and my coaches being by my side the whole time all the way through and having faith in me.
Casey Lundquist: So, I want to bring up tweet from Josh Alford who's a defensive back at St. John's Bosco. He tweeted out a couple of weeks ago five players he played against in high school. They were number one, Aman Ra-St. Brown, current USC Trojan. Number 2 was yourself. Three was Bru McCoy-former five-star receiver, he ended up at USC, Texas, then back to USC. Gary Bryant, four-star receiver that went to USC. Then there’s LV Bunkley, a four-star receiver at Arizona State.
What are your thoughts when you see yourself on on a list like that- in front of some really talented players?
Kody Epps: First of all, I would like to thank Josh after that. That's a lot of integrity. He's very humble for that act that he did, to be able to post us as some elite guys that he's went against. A lot of people wouldn't do that, because it's almost like exposing yourself. Not- I wouldn't say lesser than, but you've gone against some hard guys. So, I completely commend him for that. But it honestly means a lot, because when you work- for me when I worked so hard the offseason before the season- those little tokens right there, like him posting that I was a great competitor for him, it almost culminates everything that I built up and everything that I worked so hard for.
My job is to make the defenders job so hard to where it's hard for them to cover where I'm going, it's hard for them to stick to me throughout routes and throughout plays. So, I'm honored, and like I said, it culminates everything that I've worked for, to be on that list with some other great, very, very great receivers.
Casey Lundquist: So, kind of sticking to that. What makes you so difficult to guard?
Kody Epps: A lot of the things that I try to focus on would be staying active throughout plays. A lot of times my quarterback, Bryce Young, who's at Alabama now, he's a scramble guy, he can get out of the pocket. So, staying active. Anytime he's running and scrambling around, just making sure that he knows where I am, and I know where he is trying to make it to- where I can get to the ball and make a big play for my team.
Route running is something I really, really focus on. The intricacies of route running, the small details that I work with my trainer, Jeff Johnson, with. Being able to get in out of brakes, changing the pace with your routes, catching the ball.
Honestly, that's our main job as receivers, is to catch the ball. If we didn't catch the ball, you wouldn't be a receives. So catching the ball-certain ways of catching the ball, because a lot of people don't know, but when balls are coming in certain angles, and when you’re running certain routes, and when you're cutting across the field in certain ways there's different ways, that you have to adjust your hand and to be able to catch the ball. So, those are the things that I really focus on and make me receive that I am.
Casey Lundquist: Awesome. So, let's go back and kind of go over your recruiting timeline with BYU, and even I guess, before that. Before you heard from BYU or any of the coaches, what did you know about BYU?
Kody Epps: I always tell people the first major thing I knew about BYU was Jimmer Fredette. The amazing basketball player, the shooter that could shoot lights out from the three-point range, a good mid-range, that’s the first thing I knew about BYU.
But, other than that, it was this game I used to play called NCAA. It was a college football game, and I always used to just- I would get bored of just making the same old teams- so making BYU, making random players to go play there. That was the second thing I really knew about them. Yeah, from there, those were the two little, subtle things that now mean a lot to me looking back in the past and connecting the dots. But those were the two major things I found out about them.
Casey Lundquist: So, did you do like a Road to Glory mode at BYU?
Kody Epps: Yes, that was it. I used to love those, I used to love- and what’s so crazy, on another token- I used to create, because you know how you could create your high school team? You could like organize uniforms and all that. I created a Mater Dei player, I don't know if that Mater Dei player went to BYU or somewhere else, but I created the Mater Dei uniforms because they had the three stripes on the helmets that you can make.
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