BYU receiver Kody Epps enters transfer portal

The transfer portal giveth and the transfer portal taketh away.

The ever-shifting new era of free agency in college football struck Provo once again Sunday evening, as BYU wide receiver Kody Epps entered the transfer portal just hours before the final deadline for the spring transfer window. The news was first reported by Max Olson of The Athletic via Twitter.

Sources close to the situation shared that Epps — despite being one of the top NIL earners on BYU’s roster — was driven to transfer in part because of more lucrative NIL opportunities elsewhere. Epps had officially signed with BYU’s new Royal Blue Collective in January.

Per ESPN 960 radio host Ben Criddle, Epps was “courted” by a number of representatives from various NIL collectives at other programs during the offseason, turning them all down but seemingly continuing to entertain their offers into the spring.

“(Epps) is planning on leaving BYU and this is not just ‘testing the waters,'” Criddle tweeted Sunday night.

Teammates and coaches were “blindsided” by Epps’ sudden departure, sources indicated to Daily Universe Sports. Such news was truly difficult to comprehend, as Epps — who is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — had grown to become a strong ambassador for the program in embracing the school’s values, taking missionary preparation courses in the past year, attending General Conference on April 1 and even declaring that he had been “called to serve” in the LaVell Edwards Stadium mission just before the start of spring ball.

“I think one of the reasons why I came here I think that being here allows me to be a bridge for people to see the greatness of the church and the greatness that is going on in Utah… and for Utah to see to be able to see where I come from,” Epps shared on the Laced Up podcast in March.

Epps grabbed 39 receptions for 459 yards and six touchdowns in 2022, playing in eight games before suffering a season-ending upper body injury against Liberty on Oct. 22. Epps joined the BYU program prior to the 2020 campaign, playing sparingly as a true freshman before missing all of 2021 due to injury.

With the loss of Epps, BYU’s receiving corps appears alarmingly thin, especially with Puka Nacua heading to the Los Angeles Rams as a fifth round draft choice and Gunner Romney retiring from the sport. The Cougars will look to aggressively pursue receiving options from the transfer portal to pair with Chase Roberts and Keanu Hill in order to give new starting quarterback Kedon Slovis a sufficient selection of offensive weapons in the Big 12.

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