Under stadium lights, in a packed house, and with the game on the line, it’s easy to look on the field and see who the heroes are. It’s the thread-the-needle pass. The diving catch. The interception. The goal line stop. On paper, it’s completions, yards after contact, long-range field goals, sacks. You know who no one’s thinking about? The walk-on player who’s been on the team for four years, but who has never seen playing time on the field.
For fourth-year Virginia Cavaliers safety CJ Epps, so goes the past three years. A preferred walk-on in 2015, he took a redshirt season his first year due to injury, and did not appear in any games in 2016 or 2017.
But he’s working just as hard as every other man out there, and this year, he was rewarded for it with a full scholarship for the year.
The Virginia Football account tweeted this reaction video on Friday morning, where you can see the excitement across the board for the fourth year, who still has two years of eligibility remaining.
Though a walk-on, this isn’t the first time Epps has had all of his teammates’ eyes on him. Last year, he was recognized as the sole Wednesday Warrior for the week leading up to the Boston College game. That’s the week he finally earned his number for the season, No. 96.
At least as of this writing, the team’s online roster didn’t have a number for Epps yet, but No. 96 remains available.
Congratulations to CJ Epps on all of your hard work the past three years paying off this season!