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Devy Spotlight: Zach Evans

Zach Evans went from highly touted recruit to highly respected running back, @MandrewH_ looks at the now Ole Miss Rebel as he looks to make an impact this season.

The 2020 recruiting class is giving us a ton of NFL Draft talent at running back. Bijan Robinson may lead the class but don’t forget about Zach Evans. What is also guaranteed never to be overlooked is the journey Evans took to get where he is. He is more than one team or decision; he is a top recruit who maintained his spot. 

His spot on the college football mountain top is earned, and now after transferring, he hopes to do what’s best for him. Evans’ recruiting journey is something you never hear about anymore, especially with 5-star recruits. That being said, it has made Evans the player and person he is now, which is more than enough for the NFL.

Zach Evans, the Road Warrior

We don’t have time to break down all the choices Evans had in his recruitment. We can highlight that he ended up at TCU when he never considered it. He had quite the high school resume to build his reputation upon. Evans would rush for over 5,000 yards and score 76 touchdowns for North Shore High School. To top things off, he helped North Shore win a national championship. 

Having that successful high school career has many schools look at you, and he landed at TCU. For a good reason, he was the school’s first 5-star signee and was immediately a focal point in their offense. 2021 saw him compile 778 total yards and find the endzone six times. He would earn second-team All-Big 12 in the process. 

Ultimately, Evans would transfer between the coaching staff changes and never wanting to be at TCU. The transfer portal would help him find his way east to transfer home for so many, Ole Miss. Lane Kiffin has made himself like college basketball John Calipari. He has no issue taking all this talent in, even if it is for one or two years, just for quick team success. They also brought in Jaxson Dart from USC, so this Ole Miss offense could look very explosive by the fall.  

What You See When Watching Him 

Pass Catching Ability

Looking at the stats above, you will see just 18 catches to his credit. What we see in the few reps he has makes you wonder what he can be as a pass-catcher. Where Evans thrives in this area is that he wastes no time when he gets the ball. No time wasted going to the next level and no time processing what is ahead. Everything looks like the wheels of a train, and his entire body works as one. When you see that, you know this can become an elite trait with more work.

Contact Balance

While he doesn’t have much passing work, Evans has more than enough rushing attempts. The first thing you see is how well he handles his frame of 5’10” and 200 pounds. He doesn’t lose speed, and he doesn’t waste any motion, even when being hit. Only Evans and Bijan Robinson have this NFL-level contact balance from what I have seen in this class. We are witnessing this trait becoming very important in the NFL’s viewpoint of RBs. Evans has that and some, a sight to behold when breaking things off into the next level.

Summary

Make no bones about it; Evans is every bit the NFL RB talent. Does he have areas to work on? Of course, every prospect does, especially RBs. The positives for Evans, though, are so bright when you watch him on film. He currently is in my personal top five RBs from summer film sessions coming in at number five. That being said, he could be in the top three after a strong year. 

Get your Evans shares before they skyrocket again after he works with this Ole Miss offense.

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