Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa enters the 2019 season as one of the more interesting players in college football. The Hawkeye star both led the Big Ten in sacks last year… and is yet to start his first game.
Last season, Epenesa took down opposing quarterbacks 10.5 times as a pass rush specialist off the bench. He’ll see his role expand this season, and it has many bullish on his pro prospects beyond 2019.
Still, he’s not exactly a household name outside of Big Ten country. That could change very soon.
FS1’s Joel Klatt gave his most underrated players from each Power Five conference on Twitter, and has A.J. Epenesa as his pick from the Big Ten.
It is pretty crazy to think, considering the credit he has already gotten, but considering his lower profile among average fans, I buy it.
Most under the radar/underrated player in each power 5 conference??
Pac12 – Eno Benjamin RB ASU
Big12 – Chuba Hubbard RB OkState
Big10 – Aj Epenesa DE Iowa
SEC – Ke'Shawn Vaughn RB Vandy
ACC – AJ Dillon RB Boston College
Your turn, GO
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) August 13, 2019
If his production stays the same with a big expansion in his snap count, and he proves to be a serviceable player against the run, “under the radar” won’t be something you will be able to say about Epenesa for much longer.