NASHVILLE – University of Wyoming safety Marcus Epps fulfilled a lifetime dream on Saturday when the Minnesota Vikings selected him as the 19th pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. For Epps it was the next step in what has been a remarkable football career. Epps walked onto the Wyoming Football team in 2014. After redshirting as a freshman, he started 50 games for the Cowboys over the next four years, was a three-time team captain and now is an NFL Draft pick.
At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Epps was honored as one of the three national finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy. The trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on. The winner of the 2018 Burlsworth Trophy was Clemson University wide receiver Hunter Renfrow. The third finalist was University of California running back Patrick Laird.
Epps came to Wyoming in 2014 as a walk-on from Edison High School in Los Angeles, Calif. He redshirted his freshman season. In 2015, Epps earned a starting spot at safety and was rewarded with a scholarship. From that point forward, he started 50 games — the last 49 consecutive games at safety for the Pokes.
He concluded his Wyoming career with 325 career tackles, ranking No. 11 in Wyoming school history. Among all active FBS players in 2018, Epps tied for 12th in career interceptions, with nine, and he ranked No. 23 in the nation among active players in career solo tackles, averaging 4.30 per game.
Under his leadership, Wyoming was bowl elgibile all three years he was a voted a team captain and made consecutive bowl appearances in the 2016 Poinsettia Bowl and the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Cowboys also made their first appearance in the Mountain West Championship Game in 2016.
Epps is a father. He and his girlfriend, Megan, are parents of two-year old son Braxton.
This marks the third consecutive year that Wyoming has had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft, and the fourth year in the previous five years during the Craig Bohl-era that Wyoming has had a player selected. Former Wyoming linebacker Mark Nzeocha was selected in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboy running back Brian Hill (fifth round by Cincinnati Bengals) and offensive lineman Chase Roullier (sixth round by the Washington Redskins) were drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. In the 2018 NFL Draft, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen became the highest NFL Draft pick in school history when the Buffalo Bills selected him with the seventh pick in the first round.