Dallas running back Brandon Epton Jr. has cut his list of potential choices to five and the Texas Tech football program has made the cut.
One of the most pressing needs for Texas Tech football head coach Matt Wells comes at the running back position where the Red Raiders currently have just one scholarship player in the program and one 2020 signee on the way. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him try to add multiple RBs in the class of 2021.
One of the top targets to watch is Dallas Kimball’s Brandon Epton Jr. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder released his top five schools on Thursday and Tech made the cut along with SMU, Arizona State, Purdue, and California.
According to 247Sports.com, he is a 3-star target, the No. 57 RB in the nation, and the No. 93 overall player in Texas for the current recruiting class. Other schools that have extended scholarship offers to him include Houston, Illinois, and Kansas.
This past fall, he carried the ball 90 times for 765 yards and 15 touchdowns while catching 11 passes for 78 more yards and another pair of scores. Those numbers earned him Texas District 6-5A D-II Newcomer of the Year recognition.
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Epton was able to make it to Lubbock in January for an unofficial visit but his scholarship offer from Wells and Co. did not come until March 27th. Thus, the fact that the Red Raiders made his top five just days later should be considered an encouraging sign.
Gabe Brooks of 247Sports has the following scouting report on Epton’s profile page: “Adequate frame relative to position. Requisite height with lean, athletic build that should hold some more weight in college. Shows encouraging initial burst. Accelerates quickly to reach top speed. Good cutback runner. Displays enough wiggle to make a defender miss at the second level, but at his best hitting holes downhill and slashing cutback lanes. Shows necessary play speed to hit big runs. Should have a lot of tread on the tires after averaging 8.2 carries per game as a junior. Can improve top-end speed as evidenced by track times. Occasionally bounces runs unnecessarily. Limited pass-catching exposure. Power Five-caliber running back prospect who should bring a relatively fresh engine to the next level. Could become reliable multi-year starter in college.”
Tech has seen its running back ranks depleted by defections over the last two years with Da’Leon Ward (2019) and Ta’Zhawn Henry (2020) both leaving the program in the last two offseasons. What’s more, in 2019, the Red Raiders did not sign a high school running back, instead choosing to add grad transfer Armand Shyne to the roster, a route that Wells will likely go again this offseason to help solidify the position.
In December, the Red Raiders did add 3-star RB Tahj Brooks and it is a virtual guarantee that he will see significant time this year behind incumbent starter SaRodorick Thompson. Still, there is a huge need for both immediate and long-term reinforcements at a position where injuries are almost a guarantee every year.
According to 247Sports, Tech has headed out ten offers to running backs in the class of 2021, with half of those being to either four or five-star prospects. While Epton isn’t of that pedigree, he is the type of player that this program has not added enough of in recent years making him a very important target for Red Raider fans to know.