arrow-circle arrow-long-stroke arrow-stroke arrow-thick arrow-thin arrow-triangle icon 2 baseballCreated with Sketch. basketball calendar category check-circle check-square check comment facebook-circle facebook-icon facebook-rounded facebook-square facebook-stroke football instagram-circle instagram-icon instagram-square long-arrow-right rss-circle rss-rounded rss-square rss-stroke rss twitter-circle twitter-icon twitter-rounded twitter-square twitter-stroke user-group user

Three Decades Later, Auburn’s Still Chasing Evans

By on January 27th, 2014 in Football 14 Comments »
Rashaan 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.

14 Comments

  1. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I don’t envy these kids and the kinds of decisions that they have to make. They are 17/18, suddenly being told that they are super awesome, NFL quality, etc. etc. They are still trying to figure out basic things-like not drinking directly out of the milk cartoon and how to get all of their dirty laundry off the floor and into the basket.

    If it were my sons? I’d be telling them to stay off social media and don’t make a spectacle out of signing day. Stars don’t matter–ultimately contribution on the field does. The larger the ego heading into Fall Camp the longer that road is to quality contribution……..we lived that in 2012.

    Happy Monday! War Eagle, everybody!!

    PS-question: will KB be doing his Signing Day coverage this year?

    • uglyjoe says:

      I have just about gotten past the dirty laundry on the floor deal, but what is the problem with drinking directly out of the milk carton? What people don’t know can’t hurt them.

    • KoolBell KoolBell says:

      Thanks for asking about that TOTM, I have been really busy, and have not taken the time lately to address this.

      Unfortunately, some things have happened, and I will be out of town that entire week, and will not be able to be the lead on that thread this year. I hope that someone here has a running thread up for recruiting, and I might be able to post some comments. This is usually my favorite out of season football event, but I have little clue as to what’s going on this year.

      I appreciate your understanding,

      War Eagle!

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Sorry to hear that! Take care of yourself :).

        • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

          Even though KB will not be able to do his annual national signing day post … We still have plans to run an Open Thread that day.

          So please do check in with TET and discuss the happenings of Auburn’s National Signing Day.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..Feb 5 is another work day for me, but I’ll look everything over when I get home and sift through the results. My usual Thursday post the next day will be my one post of the year that has much of anything to do with recruiting.

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    I think Mr. Evans is an eventual early draft pick, regardless of his college choice. One large factor that I hope he considers before signing with anyone, at Auburn he will be a family member. Any other place and he’ll be just another football player.

  3. sparkey sparkey says:

    Actually, TOTM stars do matter. Give Gus a team loaded with two and three stars. Then, give him a team loaded with four and five stars. The four and five star team will win 9/10 games if not 99/100.

    This kid is special. With respect to his father, he isn’t going to be that way. He will be a special player for whomever he chooses. Alabama wants Evans to go anywhere but Auburn more than they just want him.

    Folks think of it this way, with Gus and Rhett you know the offense will somehow someway produce on the field and put points on the board. How many times this season did the game come down to our defense making one last stop to win?

    Look at the game with FSU. If we could have stopped them that one last time, we’re celebrating another championship. Evans is a kid that makes those kind of big time plays on a consistent basis. When you break it down into the most basic form you have to like Auburn’s chances.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Stars don’t matter without coaching and development. In that sense, Tubbs overachieved with his 2 and 3 star athletes…and we all know how Chizik did with his 4 and 5 star athletes. IMO, stars, without coaching and development, don’t matter. Stars alone will not win games….that was my poorly articulated point above.

      • wpleagle says:

        Couldn’t agree more about coaching them up! Ole Shug held his own against the Bear by doing just that.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        ……Alan Evans is the poster child for the high-level recruit that doesn’t pan out. However, from what I heard back 30 years ago, a lot of the reason he didn’t do much was foot injuries. Those are kryptonite for running backs…

      • sparkey sparkey says:

        That’s why I used the same coach in my comparison.

  4. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Good story Jay. Enjoyed the read. I wonder if his dad has a favorite? I know he played at Auburn but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s pushing the Tigers. The players that have strong family ties often listen to parents if they have a favorite. Mom and dad’s thoughts can be the key.

  5. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Just saw where Rashaan has canceled his visit this coming weekend to UCLA.