During Saturday’s Orange-White game, the position room for Texas Longhorns tight ends coach Jeff Banks featured an unusual amount of depth, so it was hardly a shocking development on Monday when junior tight end Malcolm Epps announced his plans to enter the NCAA transfer portal.
With spring practice complete, new head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are conducting exit interviews with players.
The 6’6, 253-pound Epps arrived at Texas out of Spring Dekaney in the heralded 2018 recruiting class as a consensus four-star prospect ranked No. 227 nationally and as the No. 10 tight end, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Despite the classification as a tight end out of high school, Epps arrived as a bit of a tweener and began his career at wide receiver, playing in two games during the 2018 season when starting wide receiver Collin Johnson suffered a knee injury, catching one pass for 18 yards.
As a sophomore, Epps played behind Johnson as an outside receiver and once again saw playing time when Johnson missed much of the season with a hamstring injury. Epps started seven games, catching 20 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, but struggled to consistently create separation.
During the spring, Epps made the long-expected move from wide receiver to tight end, but was unable to pass sophomore Jared Wiley on the depth chart, serving as the third-string player at the position. Epps appeared in nine games during the 2020 season, catching three passes for 42 yards and three touchdowns.
With the arrival of Sarkisian and Banks, Epps also had to deal with the additions of early enrollees Gunnar Helm and Juan Davis. Helm in particular drew praise during spring practice for his quick acclimation to the college game and caught a 41-yard pass from junior wide receiver Kai Money on a trick play to open the second half of the Orange-White game. Davis also flashed, catching two passes for 26 yards and flashing the athleticism that made him an intriguing athlete out of high school by making a defender miss in the open field.
Epps, on the other hand, was a virtual non-factor, dropping one pass early in the scrimmage before catching another for three yards.