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Alabama plucked a star recruit out of its rival's backyard for the second straight year.
Rashaan Evans, an Auburn, Ala., native and the No. 52 overall recruit in the ESPN 300, snubbed his hometown Tigers to sign with the Crimson Tide on Wednesday.
"When I was up there at the podium, I was thinking, 'Man, maybe I should go to Auburn,' " Evans told ESPN.com. "But then I really thought about it, and Alabama was the best place for me."
Evans, who attends Auburn High School, is rated as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the ESPN 300.
The Crimson Tide also landed a big recruit from Auburn High last year when linebacker Reuben Foster signed with Alabama after decommitting from Auburn.
Evans acknowledged that his friendship with Foster influenced his choice to attend Alabama.
"It impacted my decision very much," Evans said after announcing his decision. "Me and Reuben, we played together in high school and we've had a great relationship. ... He's influenced me a lot."
Evans told ESPN.com that he arrived at his final decision Tuesday night, when he informed his parents.
"I thought it through," he said. "I actually went on to sleep on it, and then I woke up and thought about it again. I just knew that Alabama was the best place for me."
Representatives from both Alabama and Auburn recently attended Evans' grandfather's birthday party -- a gesture that flattered the linebacker.
"It was pretty nice to have them come to my grandfather's party," Evans said. "It was a bit different. I've never heard of any recruit having that situation."
Evans, who also was considering UCLA, will join the nation's No. 1 recruiting class at Alabama, which already has commitments from five of the top 15 players in the ESPN 300.
"I just felt that Alabama was a great school for me," he said. "Not only football-wise, but I also felt that pursuing my academic career -- I felt like they can do all those things for me, not only just football."
ESPN.com's Greg Ostendorf contributed to this report.