Salim Epps Signs With Oklahoma

One of the top sprinters in Pennsylvania, Salim Epps, is headed to the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

The Saint Joseph's Prep senior announced his decision to sign with the Sooners live on Instagram Wednesday evening. Epps chose Oklahoma over Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi State, North Carolina A&T, Penn State, and UConn.

"I just felt that I was wanted there," Epps said. "I know that they're a program that is up-and-coming and I know that I can help out there a lot."

Due the coronavirus pandemic, Epps did not take an in-person to Norman to see Oklahoma's campus, but he did do a virtual visit.

"It was like a normal visit. I got to see the campus, the facilities and what the dorms will look like my freshman year," he said of his virtual visit, noting that he also met with the coaches, including Oklahoma's interim head coach Tim Langford.

Epps after winning the PIAA Class AAA 400m state title in 2019

"Coach Langford was always reaching out to me," Epps said. "We had multiple conversations about the season. There was multiple times where he would talk about my races and talk about what I can do to get better.

"That's what really stood out to me was the connection we had, the bound that we were building," he added.

Epps closed out a storied career at Saint Joe's Prep, winning two individual state titles. Last spring as a junior, Epps captured the PIAA Class AAA crown in the 400 meters, running a personal best of 47.48 at Shippensburg. This winter, Epps went 48.08 to win the PTFCA indoor state crown in the 400.

Epp was apart of Prep's national championship-winning 4x400 meter relay squad, which ran 3:16.08 at New Balance Nationals Indoor to set to all-time PA state record in the event. At the PTFCA Indoor State Championships on March 1 after winning the individual 400, Epps anchored Prep's winning 4x400 meter relay, which also secured the team title for the Hawks.

Epps after winning the 400m at the PTFCA Indoor State Championships

Epps said he was disappointed when he found out indoor nationals -- and later the entire outdoor season -- was cancelled because of COVID-19, but he's come to terms with the reality of the situation.

"Once I got the new that outdoor was cancelled, it was basically 'onto the next,'" he said. "There's nothing I can do to change that. Now it's just focusing on how I can get prepared for Oklahoma."

Epps isn't the first Saint Joe's Prep star in recent memory to to sign with a major NCAA school. Miles Green, a state and national champion that graduated from Prep in 2018, is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. Epps says Green was a big motivation for him as he was rising the ranks.

"I knew as soon as he left, I had some big shoes to fill," Epps said. "I always told myself I wanted to be better than he was and break his records."