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BYU Cougars football lands ‘major steal’ with three-star Mater Dei receiver Kody Epps

Speedster from Santa Ana, California, caught 28 touchdown passes last season, called a ‘steal’ for BYU after he chose Cougars over Oregon, others

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PROVO — Early signing day has featured few, if any, welcome surprises for BYU football coaches and fans since it was instituted in 2017, but that changed Wednesday morning as one of the Cougars’ top recruiting targets sent in his national letter of intent.

Kody Epps, a three-star receiver from California’s Mater Dei High School is headed to BYU.

Landing the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Epps was viewed as critical to BYU’s recruiting efforts for the class of 2020 because it is losing three standout senior receivers to graduation — Micah Simon, Aleva Hifo and Talon Shumway.

Epps, from Santa Ana, California, also had offers from Oregon, San Jose State and Nevada. Epps made his official campus visit to Provo last weekend along with more than 20 other recruits.

Epps caught 93 passes for 1,735 yards and 28 touchdowns as senior in 2019 at Mater Dei, one of the premier prep programs in California.

He is ranked as the No. 81 recruit in California by 247Sports.com and his signing boosted BYU’s team ranking in that website’s national composite rankings to 69th.

Adam Gorney, a recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, said Epps is a “very big pickup for BYU and a major steal” for the Cougars. Gorney said Epps has Pac-12 talent.

As of 10 a.m., BYU had announced seven other signings in addition to Epps.

The list of signed offensive players included quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava of Washington, D.C., running back Bruce Garrett of Texarkana, Texas, running back Nukuluve Helu of Tooele and receiver Terence Fall of San Bernardino, Calif.

Defensively, the Cougars received early letters of intent from Corner Canyon linebacker Josh Wilson (brother of current BYU QB Zach Wilson), defensive back Micah Harper of Chandler, Arizona, and Jacques Wilson, a defensive back from West Los Angeles (California) College.