The Friars received their first commitment from the class of 2022 with the announcement video from Jayden Epps, even though the general consensus seems to be that he re-classifies to 2021. Epps is a 6’2” combo guard who plays his High School ball at King’s Fork in Virginia. The Friars have been able to snag players from the DMV area over the last couple of years. Current players include Nate Watson from Virginia (Portsmouth), Jyare Davis from Delaware (Newark), and Jared Bynum from Maryland (Largo). However, recent former players include Maliek White (Richmond), Rodney Bullock (Hampton), & Josh Fortune (Virginia) from Virginia, Drew Edwards (Perry Hall) & Quadree Smith (Temple Hills) from Maryland, & Ben Bentil (Prep) from Delaware. That kind of recruiting presence, and the success of those players, does not go unnoticed by other High School players around those parts.
In the midst of players transferring from Providence (Greg Gantt, Kris Monroe, & Jimmy Nichols Jr.) and players returning to the Friars using the NCAA’s additional year of eligibility for Winter collegiate athletes (Nate Watson, Noah Horchler, & Andrew Fonts), it’s refreshing to mix things up with a commitment.
Providence was able to beat out Arkansas, Florida, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, NC State, and a late offer from Kansas for Epps’ talents. Jayden is listed as the number 62 recruit in the class of 2022 by 247sports and the 11th best combo guard in the country. Cooley and the rest of the Friars staff were on Epps early, offering him back on May 12th of 2019 and their relationship with Jayden and those close to him seemed to have been a big factor in his decision to choose Providence. If there was one component that was glaringly missing from the Friars offense this past season, it was outside shooting. Epps can shoot. That’s a fact. Even more impressively, he appears to particularly excel at making contested shots.
His ability to be able to get to spots and score at all three levels is immediately apparent as soon as you watch any tape on him. He drives hard to the hoop with super quick first step and shows he has the strength to finish well at the rim. Epps has the mentality and work ethic of a grinder with the typical Cooley trademark of having toughness in spades.
Yeah, he’s going to fit right in here in Friartown.