Since Jermichael Finley declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft following the 2007 season, the Texas Longhorns have searched for an elite tight end. With Kendall Moore graduating and running back-turned-H-back Chris Warren transferring, depth will continue to be an issue for the Longhorns and Malcolm Epps hopes to factor into the plans moving forward and become an elite player at that position.
The 6’5, 218-pound tight end from Spring Dekaney High School took advantage of the early signing period with the Longhorns, after making his commitment prior to this season.
The next name in, TE Malcolm Epps. Welcome to Texas, Malcolm. #RevolUTion18 #ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/RK4yjmf958— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 20, 2017
Malcolm Epps is officially a Longhorn. Epps ranks #144 in the ESPN 300. pic.twitter.com/Cusui8Jzv4— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 20, 2017
Ranked No. 10 in the nation at his position and the No. 226 player overall, Epps decommitted from the Alabama Crimson Tide in February, after being committed for more than a year. He announced his commitment to the Longhorns via Twitter and has been an active social media recruiter since.
@CoachTomHerman @corbymeekins @13_JALLEN @HamiltonESPN @Fast7v7 @BCarringtonUT #LETS RIDE #THISISTEXAS pic.twitter.com/7JHEvYyhVY— Epps XVIII (@_EppsKid) August 8, 2017
In his senior campaign for the Wildcats, Epps showed his abilities both as a pass catcher and as an in-line blocker; often split out as well as flexed off of the line. In 11 games, he managed to bring in 27 receptions for 506 yards and seven touchdowns before a loss to Klein Collins in the first round of the playoffs.
Here’s his evaluation from 247Sports:
Malcolm Epps is a high-ceiling prospect with receiver instincts and a traditional inline tight end frame. Exceptional height and length. A 6-foot-6 frame gives Epps virtually limitless space to add bulk at the next level. It also gives him an enormous catch radius. He also plays basketball and has huge hands, allowing him to have a chance at catches even if only one hand is available. Size and length allow him to win balls over smaller defenders, sometimes multiple defenders. Willing blocker who has major potential to become a dominant blocker in college. Experience playing inline tight end, flex tight end, outside receiver, and slot. Needs to improve strength but very likely will because he's still growing into his huge frame. Can improve top-end speed, though he's already a vertical threat because of his frame. Epps is a high-major tight end prospect with serious potential as he projects to the next level.
When he arrives at Texas, Epps has a chance to compete for playing time with redshirt freshman Reese Leitao, sophomore Cade Brewer, and probable returning fifth-year senior Andrew Beck, who missed the entire 2017 season due to injury. If Epps is able to capitalize on his combination of size and speed, he can be a weapon for whoever lines up at quarterback for the Longhorns.