Three Decades Later, Auburn’s Still Chasing Evans
Photo by Opelika-Auburn News
Don’t expect the state’s top recruiting prospect to get caught off guard on national signing day. While Auburn’s Rashaan Evans may still be in high school, he’s seen enough to understand how the recruiting game is played at the Division I level.
Being the most wanted player in Alabama runs in the family. It was 32 years ago, that his father, Alan, was the prize of every high school coach in America. He was the once in a lifetime, can’t miss running back out of Enterprise.
Auburn was sure that if they landed him, the nine year dominance by Alabama would end soon. In an era where there were no stars beside your name or websites to capture your every thought, Evans was the talk of the state.
Few had seen him play, but everyone had heard of him. When he signed with Auburn, it felt like a seismic shift in the state. Auburn had returned. Pat Dye had pushed back hard against Bear Bryant. The leveling of the playing field had started.
Many of you know the rest of the story. That same year, Dye also persuaded a lesser known running back to Auburn. His name was Bo Jackson. The seismic shift happened, but it was caused by the kid from Bessemer.
“Back then nobody knew anything about Bo Jackson, he was kind of flying under the radar at the time and I was getting all the press, like Rashaan’s getting now,” Alan recently told al.com.
Alan would stay on campus two seasons and rush for 42 yards on 24 carries. He finished his career at Tennessee-Chattanooga.
He’s determined to get it right this time with Rashaan. After what can only be described as a very positive weekend visit to Auburn, the five-star linebacker heads to California next week and a stop at UCLA.
Nick Saban made his final in-home visit last Wednesday. After watching the struggles last year of former teammate and now Alabama linebacker Rueben Foster, Evans is content to sit on his choice of schools until signing day.
He says he learned a lot about the process from Foster.
“It was a nightmare for him,” Rashaan said. “He cried so many nights. He just didn’t understand why people couldn’t understand his situation with the pressure and all that. All he was trying to do was make the right decision for himself and his family.”
Evans said this weekend on the Plains was impactful, especially his meeting with Gus Malzahn.
“He lined us up as if we were about to play,” Evans told AuburnSports.com. “He said this could be the future. He was giving a lot of information about what we could go do together, that was a big thing for me.
“Playing besides Tre (Williams), that’s my boy, and also Deshaun (Davis). He did that, it made me feel differently about Auburn – maybe a little bit better. “It made me feel for sure about Auburn, Malzahn and what he wants to do with the program.”
National Signing Day is February 5th.