Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Evans commits to Alabama over Auburn
By Derek Tyson and Craig Haubert
Four-star outside linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) spurned the hometown Auburn Tigers and announced he will sign with Alabama. The No. 52-ranked player in the country chose the Crimson Tide over Auburn and UCLA. Evans took official visits to Alabama and Auburn over the past few weeks.
Rashaan Evans, No. 52 in the ESPN 300, will play his college ball for Nick Saban and Alabama.
What he brings: Evans will likely make the full-time transition to outside linebacker from defensive end, which he mostly played in high school. He is an athletic, explosive player who showed that he could play off the line and defend in space during Under Armour All-America Game week. However, he’s at his best when turned loose upfield to hunt down the football. He flashes a quick-twitch burst off the ball to get to the hip of the offensive tackle to dip, rip and turn the corner. Evans can convert speed to power and flashes the ability to rock offensive tackles back on their heels. He also flashes effective hand movements and is extremely aggressive at times, but he needs more polish and consistency as a pass-rusher.
Who he reminds us of: Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jarvis Jones. Evans reminds us of Jones coming out of high school as both have hybrid-type qualities and pass-rush skills. Both have great snap anticipation and quick-twitch burst off the ball to get the corner, bend and rip -- and the speed-to-power conversion to cause plenty of disruption.
Potential freshman impact: Evans is a versatile, hybrid defender who could fill multiple roles in a college front seven. He needs to develop technique and mold his skill set when he settles into one position. He could contribute right away as a stand-up edge rusher in subpackages. Evans also has special-teams ability to cover kicks or to block on the punt-return team.
How he fits: Evans was a standout at the Under Armour Game practices. With his size and athleticism, he should find his way onto the field as a freshman. Evans will join other ESPN 300 Alabama linebacker commits Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) and Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) to form an athletic and hard-nosed linebacking corps. Evans will fit nicely with a young defense that already features Reuben Foster, a 2013 linebacker signee.