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Top-50 EDGE Iose Epenesa locks in five official visits

On3 imageby:Hunter Shelton05/10/24


After trimming his list of top schools down to 10 last month, Edwardsville (Ill.) four-star EDGE Iose Epenesa continues to work toward his commitment.

Next up for the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder is five official visits. On Friday, Epenesa’s father, Eppy, announced that his son will take officials to Penn State (May 18), Missouri (June 1), Iowa (June 8), Utah (June 15) and Miami (June 22).

“With our busy schedule especially our son Iose Epenesa School & Sports, we are able to fit in OVs to some of the schools from his Top 10 that was consistently shows up at EHS & sports events since day,” Eppy wrote on X.

Epenesa is the No. 50 overall prospect and No. 5 EDGE in the 2025 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He’s also the No. 2 player in Illinois.

Iowa looking to land legacy recruit, Miami also checking boxes

Epenesa is the brother of former Iowa star and current Buffalo Bills defensive lineman A.J. Epenesa. His father and other brother Eric also played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have plenty of family ties and currently hold the slight edge in the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine.

The Hurricanes are now in line to receive the final OV from Epenesa and are another program that has continued to gain traction in his recruitment. He was in Coral Gables at the end of March, where he learned plenty about Mario Cristobal’s program.

“Iose got to watch a full-pads scrimmage, good action practice,” Eppy told On3’s Steve Wiltfong. “Sat down film session with NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor and Polynesian Hall of Fame defensive line coach Joe Salave’a learning their schemes/defensive line DL break down and where he fits.

“Of course head coach Mario Cristobal sat down with our family and talked how important and how hard they’re recruiting Iose.”

Miami has also garnered some connections with the Epenesa family throughout his recruitment. The ACC program is squarely in the mix for his commitment as well.

“It comes down to trust and experience in the coaches,” Eppy said. “Mario Cristobal is a legend. Defensive ends coach Jason Taylor is a NFL football Hall of Fame. DL coach Joe Salave’a is an NFL vet and Polynesian Hall of Famer and is like a little brother to me. We grew up together in America Samoa.”

Mizzou has recruited the Illinois area well and will look to make an impact on the blue-chipper at the beginning of June. Utah was Epenesa’s first offer and will also receive an OV this summer. Other teams that made his top 10 in April include Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Texas.