Some people go to Hollywood to make it big, but Marcus Epps had to leave to give his dream a better shot.
Epps has gone from being a lightly recruited high schooler, to a walk-on and eventual team captain in college at Wyoming to a sixth-round pick by Minnesota.
Instead of staying close to home and playing for a junior college in Southern California, he journeyed from L.A. to Laramie, Wyoming, hoping to give his football career more chapters.
"I had somebody that had connections that sent my film up there, and really late in the process, they called and asked me to walk-on, so I just took it and ran with it," Epps said.
"Everybody that I talked to, people close to me when I was making this decision, thought it would be a good opportunity, so I always just had confidence and believed in myself," Epps added. "When I went up there, I basically handled business and did the things I was supposed to do."
Eventually, it worked. After redshirting in 2014, Epps went on to appear in 50 games, totaling 325 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, nine interceptions and 22 pass breakups for the Cowboys.
"I always believed in myself and set those goals, and I work hard toward them every day," Epps said. "I always make sure that I'm putting the work in. I had no excuses and no regrets."
Teammates noticed, voting him a captain.
"It means a lot that they saw me as a captain, as a leader in the locker room, a guy they can look up to," Epps said.
When the Cowboys needed Epps to switch from playing safety for three seasons to nickel, Epps used that as an opportunity to show versatility that he's demonstrated in Minnesota.
Now, he's watchful and attentive, gleaning lessons from the likes of All-Pro Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris.
"I think the biggest thing is just their sense of urgency," Epps said. "Even in the walk-through, they're always locked in, going through the little things, techniques and footwork, things like that. In college, when you walk-through, you're just in chill mode. That's one of the biggest things that I've learned from them so far. Everything they do, they're just so locked in and have that sense of urgency about them so they can go out each day and accomplish more on the practice field."
Here are three other topics that Epps covered with Vikings.com:
1. Did you ever experience any celebrity sightings in LA?
"Sometimes, you'll see them around. It's funny you asked that, because when we were back home [before training camp], I thought I saw Mark Wahlberg out. I'm not sure if it was him, but it sure looked like him. You can just see them anywhere out there."
2. Are you a music guy, a movies guy, both?
"Music-wise, I listen to hip hop and rap. Some of my favorite artists are Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, Roddy Ricch, Future. Movies, I'm a big comic book movie guy, Marvel, I really like those and comedies, as well."
3. What was the craziest weather you experienced in college?
"My junior year against Colorado State, it was a blizzard basically, so it was pretty crazy."
What do you even do as a DB in that situation? Could you even see the ball?
"It was pretty tough. At that point, they basically started running the ball every play, so I was sitting back as basically a safety blanket in case anything broke."
Note: The Cowboys defeated the Rams 16-13 in the 50thBattle for the Bronze Boot. Epps had six tackles, including 2.0 for loss.