Thursday, June 12, 2014
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Sheroid Evans
By Max Olson
Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series will take a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.
Recruitment rewind: The four-star recruit from Sugar Land (Texas) Dulles committed to Texas on the spot when Mack Brown offered in February 2010 and joined Quandre Diggs, Leroy Scott and Mykkele Thompson to form one of the nation's top secondary classes in 2011. Evans also had the nation's fastest 200-meter dash time (20.82) and fourth-fastest 100-meter dash (10.39) in 2010.
Career so far: He hasn't had many opportunities to put that elite speed to use. A longtime backup, Evans has recorded 27 tackles in 27 games and has yet to earn a start. His best moment might have come in his first season, when he forced a fumble against Cal in the Holiday Bowl. Five games into 2013, Evans suffered a torn ACL. He was one game past the cutoff point for a medical redshirt and missed the entirety of spring practice during his recovery.
Best-case scenario for 2014: Evans gets not just 100 percent healthy, but better than ever. The most optimistic view of his final season in burnt orange would be one in which Evans makes some plays early on and becomes Texas' go-to guy in nickel coverage. If that ends up being the case, he could even push Duke Thomas out of the starting lineup or give Diggs the opportunity to sneak back into his nickelback role from time to time.
Worst-case scenario for 2014: One more year of relative anonymity. Diggs and Thomas will need help this fall, but that help could come primarily from Antwuan Davis, Bryson Echols or another defensive back depending on who rises to the occasion in August. If Evans has any more setbacks with his health, he'll have a hard time catching up to his peers after all this time missed.
Future expectations: If you knew nothing about his résumé at Texas and simply looked at Evans in his pads, you'd be awfully impressed. Great frame, long arms, incredible speed; he looks like the full package, and he's indeed one of college football's fastest players. Evans' breakthrough just hasn't come together yet, and last season's injury was a setback he couldn't afford. Now he has one final season to play up to the incredible promise he's shown as an athlete. Evans could be one of Texas' biggest surprises in 2014, but he has a ton of work to do between now and the opener to make that a reality.