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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Surprise SEC team leads for LB Evans

By Greg Ostendorf

When you grow up in the state of Alabama, it’s "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle." Of the state’s top 10 recruits for 2014, six have already committed to Alabama or Auburn. The other four remain undecided. That’s why ESPN 300 linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) surprised most people when he put out his top five in order on Wednesday.

It wasn’t Alabama or Auburn at the top. It was the Georgia Bulldogs, followed by UCLA, Tennessee, Florida State and Auburn.

“The thing that got me was the second visit,” Evans said of Georgia. “I actually got to sit down and talk to Mark Richt. It was me and my dad, and we all just sat down in his office and talked about football as far as how they want to use me. That kind of sold me, the fact that he sat down and told me pretty much exactly where I was going to play.

Rashaan Evans
Rashaan Evans has Auburn among his top schools and the Tigers are hoping to keep this prospect from their backyard at home.
“I also got to talk to the defensive coordinator and my position coach, Todd Grantham. He showed us film on how they would use me. I guess I kind of fell in love with the coaches, the staff and how they were going to use me. That’s pretty much the thing that sold me.”

So how does Georgia plan to use the 6-foot-3, 211-pound Evans in their defense?

“They see me as a another Jarvis Jones, if not better,” he said.

Evans’ second choice might come as an even bigger surprise as he’s never visited UCLA. However, the Bruins’ coaching staff has made him a priority in this class, and he’s planning to take a trip out there at the end of July.

“I developed a real strong relationship with my coach, Jeff Ulbrich,” Evans said. “He hits me up almost everyday. We’ve developed a relationship with each other. He’s actually been down here numerous times to come see me, to see how I was doing.

“That’s the thing that made them stand out. Hopefully when I take this visit, it will keep them at that spot they’re at now, if not move up.”

When Evans put out his top five, he knew there’d be some backlash from the local fans. He grew up in Auburn. He attends Auburn High School, and he’s an AU legacy. Yet the Tigers are No. 5 on his current list of schools.

“A lot of these local fans will be kind of surprised,” he said. “I’ve been over there so many times. It’s right across the street. That’s what they’re going to be confused about. Why is Auburn not even No. 3 or No. 4? They’re going to question it.

“I’m just putting it out there. Just because they’re across the street does not mean that I’m going to commit to them. I’m giving all these teams chances regardless of how far they are.”

Late Wednesday night, Evans tweeted that his top five was only temporary. He is headed to Oregon next weekend for The Opening.