MOSCOW, Idaho – Dezmon Epps was formulating his goals for the 2014 football season long before Idaho’s 2013 campaign was over. Back in October, he said he wanted to lead the Sun Belt Conference in receiving as a senior and be considered one of the best wideouts in the nation.
But after his dismissal from Idaho on Sunday, Epps’ collegiate future – at least in the FBS – is hazy at best.
Epps, the Vandals’ most productive receiver last year, was booted from the team for a violation of team rules, coach Paul Petrino announced.
Epps was arrested in April on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was sentenced to one day in jail and two years of probation after pleading guilty in June.
He had been working out this summer with UI teammates in Moscow.
“We have the highest standards and expectations for our players as student-athletes and citizens,” Petrino said Sunday in a statement. “We clearly outline the consequences when these expectations are not met.”
Epps hauled in 79 catches for 980 yards and four touchdowns last year. He was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list midseason.
Without Epps, the Vandals’ top returning receiver is redshirt sophomore Deon Watson of Coeur d’Alene. The Vandals have depth at the position, though. Quarterback Josh McCain moved to wideout during the spring, and several junior-college transfers and redshirts are expected to make an impact.
Idaho is entering its first year back in the Sun Belt after leaving the conference in 2014. The league’s media day is Tuesday in New Orleans, and center Mike Marboe and defensive end Maxx Forde will represent the Vandals along with Petrino.
UI was picked to finish ninth out of 11 teams in the Sun Belt coaches’ preseason poll. It starts the season on Aug. 30 at Florida.