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Epenesa is the No. Army All American game.

Epenesa has been offered scholarships by Missouri, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington State and Wisconsin. And while schools have offered him full rides, they are not allowed to directly contact him until the fall. When that happens, Epenesa will be inundated with attention.

“Right now I’m under the age. I get some letters they send to Coach (Matt Martin),” Epenesa said. “By the time September 1st comes around, that’s when my mailbox will start getting full.”

That means blowing up his phone by all means necessary. For a teenager in these days and times, life revolves around the mobile phone. Only Epenesa’s will surely be buzzing for hours on end.

“I’m going to have to set my phone down and try to leave some of that alone,” he said. “I’m going to do my best with it.”

He has friends that have gone as far as to get a separate phone to keep their recruiting and personal lives running through two devices. He hasn’t pulled the trigger on it yet, but as fall inches closer, it’s something to consider.

“When it gets to that point,” Epenesa said. “I’ll have to start thinking about that then.”


Brendan Scales’ recruiting just kind of happened. A junior tight end at Lafayette, Scales didn’t go nuts sending out his highlight tape, he didn’t attend gobs of camps to get his name out there. He just went about his business and things started picking up naturally.

“It was more of a slow build,” Scales said. “Illinois was my first one and it came three fourths of the way through the season. Iowa and North Carolina offered me on the same day (shortly after).”

The offers kept coming until last week when Scales received and accepted Alabama’s offer. He traveled to Tuscaloosa on Friday, had dinner with coach Nick Saban and gave a nonbinding verbal commitment to the Crimson Tide. Recruits can’t officially sign until Feb. 3, 2016.

“It feels good. It’s a relief also not having to do all the recruiting stuff anymore,” Scales said. “It feels really good because Alabama is one of the top programs. It’s always been a dream of mine. I never thought my dream would bring me this far. It’s quite a blessing.”

Scales had 12 offers including Missouri,
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Illinois, Arkansas, Arizona State, Michigan State and Nebraska.

The 6 4, 230 pound Scales had a strong junior season. He finished with 12 total touchdowns. He caught 49 passes for 670 yards and nine touchdowns. He rushed for 77 yards and three scores. He threw for another touchdown.

Scales had 21 tackles, eight for loss, and two sacks on the defensive side. His speed and strength make him a blue chip prospect on either side of the ball. He’s among the state’s top throwers and can run the 400 meter race in around 50 seconds. But he was recruited as a tight end and to that end, said Alabama was the best fit for him, more than Missouri.

“I just feel Alabama recruited me harder. I felt more at home,” Scales aid. “I enjoyed the hospitality and the atmosphere.”


Tre Bryant remained patient. A junior running back at CBC, Bryant missed his sophomore season with a knee injury. Because of that, he figured he would have to prove himself during the season and in the offseason at camps to draw attention.

He was half right.

The 5 10, 194 pound speed demon had a strong fall as CBC won the Class 6 state championship as he scored 21 touchdowns and rushed for 1,072 yards on 101 carries. Bryant took an official visit to Indiana in February and everything snowballed.

“It started the weekend I went to Indiana. Indiana was my first offer, it was February 8, I remember that,” he said. “In the span of a week, I got Indiana, Kansas and Mizzou all in the same week. It blew up really quick, so it was a blessing.”

With each passing week, Bryant continues to add offers. Ball State, Buffalo, Kansas State, Northwestern, Syracuse and UNLV have all offered him and there could be more on the way. Bryant will travel to Chicago this weekend to participate in the Nike Football Combine. He hopes a good showing will expose him to more programs.

Bryant said he has no favorite at this moment and does not plan to make a commitment until the fall. He’s taking it slow as the process continues to play out.

“I’m definitely still weighing my options and giving equal attention to all schools,” Bryant said. “I’m open to going out of state. I’ll narrow my list around late May, early June. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll make my decision at the end of the season so I can take some officials and get a feel for the schools.”


Tucker McCann was so caught up in the whirlwind he didn’t have time to sit back and take it all in.

Now that he has, it’s mind blowing.

“I never really expected it. It happened so fast that it took awhile to hit me,” McCann said. “For the longest time, I didn’t expect it at all.”

A junior kicker at O’Fallon, McCann is being chased by some of football’s elite programs. The 6 1, 185 pound McCann has offers from Alabama, Missouri and Illinois. In May,
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Florida State will send a coach up and have McCann kick.