Monday, October 8, 2012
UGA visit eye-opening to Rashaan Evans
By Radi Nabulsi
Having a family full of Auburn alumni means that most the fall Saturdays of outside linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) involved watching the Tigers. So spending the day in Athens, Ga., for the Bulldogs’ game against Tennessee was quite an eye-opening experience.
“Georgia fans, they are crazy,” Evans said. “I have never seen anything like that. They were like a whole different type of fan base compared to Auburn. Auburn is more laid back, but Georgia, they are kind of on the wild side.”
Evans can expect more surprises as he ventures out to some of the other schools that are recruiting the Class of 2014 defender. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Louisiana Tech have all offered Evans a scholarship, but he has not visited any of them except for Auburn.
“It was actually my first time being on a visit to a different school,” Evans said. “I have mostly been to Auburn games so when I went to Georgia it was very exciting. It was different because they do a lot of traditional stuff way different than Auburn. There were actually a lot of things I liked about Georgia as well. I know the campus is way bigger than Auburn’s.”
Evans knows firsthand how Georgia’s campus stacks up. That was by design, apparently.
“At Auburn, a lot of times they show recruits the Tiger Walk. And some of the time they will bring guys into the locker room,” Evans said. “But Georgia, they did something different with us. They led us through the campus and I can’t quite explain it but it was almost like a small Tiger Walk for us. That is what it felt like. We were walking through campus and seeing all the fans and stuff like that. And then we went and stood on a balcony at the student center and watched the players go into the stadium. So it was like a Dawg Walk before the Dawg Walk.”
Evans said he felt rather like a celebrity walking through campus with several of Georgia’s other high-profile recruits and committed players. Fans who recognized the recruits called out to them.
“I traveled up with my dad but I met up with Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) the safety and Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County). Tray is crazy. He pitched Georgia a little but he is understanding of whatever my decision is.”
After the real Dawg Walk, Evans went to see the Bulldogs’ head coach.
“I talked to Mark Richt for a few minutes,” Evans said. “He let me know he was interested in me and stuff like that. It was nice meeting him and we talked before he went out onto the field before they played Tennessee.”
The Bulldogs’ prevailed over the Volunteers and afterward Evans met with an All-American with whom he could relate.
“I talked to Jarvis Jones after the game,” Evans said. “He was just talking to me about school and stuff like that. He said, ‘Just consider us,’ and he said Georgia was a good school. I said, ‘The way you played made me want to come here, too.’ He just cracked up laughing. It was fun meeting him. He plays the position I want to play and everything. So I guess everything just lined up with perfect timing.”
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker is used to fortuitous timing.
“I got the offer from Georgia in the spring of this year after the spring game,” Evans said. “I actually met two of the assistant coaches briefly who were at the game. I guess they were there to see Reuben Foster, but I guess when they saw me they were interested in me. So we went from there and they started getting in touch with me and from there they went on to offer me.”
Foster transferred to Auburn High School over the summer. Evans appreciated the attention he brought to the program and Foster’s contributions on the field.
“He is like an Energizer bunny to the rest of the team,” Evans said. “Before the games he just gets us all crazy. As soon as he got here we all knew right away he was going to be the leader of this defense. The minute he showed up in pads he let us all know. That dude is serious. In practice, going up against that man? You are getting a run for your money.”
Evans is no slouch himself which is why coaches all over the South are trying to get him on campus.
“I was supposed to go the Florida State game against Clemson but I got sick,” Evans said. “I am actually planning on going again to see them if not this week then next week.”
He also plans a visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to see the Crimson Tide.
“I actually just got offered by Alabama,” Evans said. “That happened a few days ago. I got in touch with some of the assistant coaches and they have been talking to me for a while. They have been trying to get me to come up to some of their games for a while but I haven’t had a chance. They are top-notch.”
And what does his family think of that?
“I was a fan of Auburn growing up,” Evans said. “I got a lot of family members that are Auburn alumni. I see these people every day. If I went to Alabama, they would be heartbroken. They might not talk to me for a week.”
In the meantime, Evans will see some more schools and likely pick up more offers. He is in no hurry to narrow down his sizable list.
“I have not even grasped the fact that I have to make a decision,” Evans said. “I know I have time but I have never sat down and said, ‘Where am I going to go?’ So I don’t really have a top group right now.”