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Countdown to Virginia Football: #20 CJ Epps has an outside chance of playing time this year

Though just a redshirt freshman and a preferred walk-on, CJ Epps could still see the field

Virginia Media Relations

Playing at 3 different high schools over the course of your career often doesn’t help your recruiting situation. Teams that are scouting your first school may not realize that you’ve left, while teams that are scouting your new school may not realize who you are. Obviously, if you’re a top recruit, they’ll figure it out. But for a guy like C.J. Epps, it may have hurt. He spent the middle 2 years of HS at Norfolk Christian, which is a great football school. But then he moved to Bishop Sullivan, whose football program is still getting up to speed. He may have lost some recruiting opportunities because of it.

Nobody knows if Epps would’ve come up with a scholarship offer had he stayed at Norfolk Christian. Maybe one of the local smaller schools would’ve come calling. Maybe the Hoos would’ve. As it is, the Hoos offered him a preferred walk-on position.

At Bishop Sullivan, Epps played both safety and CB, along with WR and RB. He was all district and all-state at DB. For Norfolk Christian, he was a RB and DB and was also all-state at DB.

Here is Epps’ recruiting video:

There are clips of Epps at FS, CB, RB and returning kicks. Epps appears to be pretty quick and looks good in pass coverage. There are a few clips of him playing CF in a zone scheme and one or two clips of what looks to be man coverage. He also comes up against the run a couple of times, where he delivers some big hits.

As a redshirt freshman walk-on, nobody is really expecting much from Epps. That said, the Hoos have just 5 scholarship safeties on the roster, and with the two starters possibly gone next year, Virginia will need some help replacing what’s already a shallow position on the depth chart. Still though, Epps’ best shot at seeing the field is on special teams, where he could be a solid gunner as early as this year.