SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Augustana offense is scoring nearly 30 points per game this season, thanks in large part to their rushing attack which is fourth best in the Northern Sun Conference. One of their leaders on the ground is Jarod Epperson, who just surpassed a career mark.
Jarod Epperson played high school football at Skutt Catholic High School, where a standout senior season led to a state championship and plenty of collegiate attention.
“Jarod was actually kind of a late bloomer in his senior year. He really blew up in his last two games and had an amazing run during the playoffs,” head coach Jerry Olszewski said. “Surprisingly enough, Ep (Epperson) was a walk-on for us, but not for very long.”
“I took a visit and this was the place. I just fell in love. I was able to play right away, due to some other stuff happening with injuries and it’s been going ever since,” Augustana junior running back Jarod Epperson said.
Epperson’s walk-on status didn’t last long. As a freshman, he would rush for more than 700 yards, while finding the endzone seven times.
The following spring, he’d receive a scholarship and now, three years later, Epperson is one of the top running backs in the country.
“He’s one of those backs that can take a hit or take it 60 and 80 last he did this past weekend if given the opportunity,” Olszewski said. “Sometimes, kids are really good in the box and can make plays. He’s one of those ones that can take it the distance on any snap.”
The Vikings picked up a 31-7 win last Saturday over MSU Moorhead, where Epperson rushed for a game high 115 yards. That helped push his career mark past 2,000 yards.
“I think it’s a real testament to him, I really do. Jarod’s one of the hardest working kids on our team. He likes the weight room, he works hard, he knows he has to take care of his body and not only the God given ability he’s been given, but he works at it to be better,” Olszewski said.
“It’s a big transition from high school to college. Everyone’s a lot bigger, faster and stronger,” Epperson said. “In the back of my mind, I was hoping to accomplish such a task and now that it’s done, it’s on to 3,000.”
Epperson and the Vikings are now preparing to face Northern State (2-1) on Saturday, September 24.
Augustana and Northern will kick-off at 1 p.m. in Sioux Falls. That game will air on KELOXTRA and the CW of the Black Hills.