Crimson Countdown: LB Jordan Evans

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
11:00
AM ET
During the summer, ESPN.com is taking a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma's roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we analyze each player's impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall, and his long-term projection. Starting with No. 1 Dominique Alexander, the series follows the roster numerically through No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.

No. 26 Jordan Evans, linebacker, 6-foot-3, 223 pounds, sophomore

Impact thus far: Evans played his way out of a redshirt season, then played in eight games as a true freshman in 2013. He finished with 12 tackles including an eight-tackle performance when injuries forced him onto the field against Texas Tech, earning high praise from OU coach Bob Stoops.

Impact in 2014: It wouldn't be a surprise to see Evans force his way into the lineup. He's one of the Sooners' most athletic linebackers and his knack for making plays could help the defense. One way or another, he should have a bigger impact as a sophomore than he did as a true freshman.

Long term upside: His versatility should help him become a key contributor for the next three seasons. His unique physical gifts could make him an all-conference-type of linebacker before he hangs up his crimson and cream jersey for the final time.

Evaluation grade for Evans: A. It took a while but the Sooners finally offered Evans late in the 2013 recruiting cycle. He didn't really have a set position, but OU decided he was simply too talented to overlook. They got him on campus and then decided where to place him. All early signs point to Evans being a terrific evaluation, particularly after his stellar spring.

Development grade for Evans: B. It was the best move to play him as a true freshman, although the Sooners could have given him a few more snaps on defense to help speed up his development during the first two months of the season. His performance against the Red Raiders in late October was a sign he might have been ready for a bigger role earlier in the year. An injury against Baylor probably kept his role from increasing during the final five games of his first year on campus.

Quotable: "Jordan has really improved and is much more sound and disciplined in schemes and where he needs to be. He has got great range and great athleticism." -- Stoops on Evans after the spring game.

Quotable, Part 2: "I feel like I finally grew into the system. I had to get with the program and that's not the defense growing around me, that's me growing into the defense. The coaches are on my tail everyday. It comes down to maturity more than anything." -- Evans on his improvement in the spring.

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