A week before Princetons training camp began, Quinn Epperly was reading the Bible by the pool at his familys house in Knoxville under the belief that an enlarged spleen would force him to sit out the football season.
Then, the phone rang with some good news for the former Christian Academy of Knoxville sta ndout.
D e s p i t e three doctors having told him he w o u l d n t be able to play, when the results from an ult r a s o u n d came back, it showed that his spleen was in fact healthy and that hed be able to suit up for the Tigers. Four months later, he was standing at the podium in the banquet hall of New Yorks Waldorf Astoria, accepting the Asa S. Bushnell award as the Iv y Leag ues top offensive player. That wasnt Gods plan, Epperly said from the podium Monday. He truly blessed me to have a season to remember. While the other finalist for the award Brown running back John Spooney certainly had a fi ne sea son , t here wa s little doubt heading into Mondays ceremony that Epperly would take home the award. The junior sociology major had one of the best seasons in Ivy League history, setting the league record for total touchdowns with 25 passing and 18 rushing, and le d the Tigers to their first league title since 2006.
Quinn wont talk about himself, but he did a wonderful job, coach Bob Surace said. He truly isnt just a quarterback. Hes a football player. Hes punted for us, blocked, ran routes a nd hes a ter ri fic runner in addition to being tremendous in terms of his accuracy and decisionma king. As they did for each one of Princetons games, Epperlys father Don, mother Kathy and younger sister Ashley made the trip up from Knoxville. They were joined by his older sister B et h , who flew i n f rom Houston, plus a whole group of extended family members and friends who were all beaming with joy at the scope of Epperlys accomplish ment.
Were having a blast, Don Epperly said. Its kind of surreal. Were kind of just living through Quinns moment. I couldnt sleep much last night. For the devoutly Christian Epperly clan, the award was another reaffirmation of both their faith and the faith that they put in Suraces program. Like most kids growing up in SEC territory, Epperly dreamed of playing for a college football powerhouse. Though he impressed at both the Alabama and Texas A&M