The SEC's 25 best players: No. 4

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
4:00
PM ET
The No. 4 player in our countdown racked up quite a few highlights this season against some of the best teams college football had to offer. He was also the go-to guy for Johnny Football.

No. 4: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M, Soph.

[+] EnlargeMike Evans
Thomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesMike Evans had 69 receptions for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013.
2013 summary: When he was on, Evans was pretty hard to stop. He finished with 69 receptions for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns, the latter two statistics being Texas A&M single-season school records. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and became the first receiver in SEC history to record two games of 225 receiving yards or more, which he did against Alabama and Auburn.

Most recent ranking: Ranked No. 17 in the 2013 preseason countdown

Making the case for Evans: For quite some time, Evans appeared to be the frontrunner for the Biletnikoff, and at times, he was even considered a dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate (head coach Kevin Sumlin certainly went to bat for his player in that regard). The way he dominated two of the country's best teams, Alabama and Auburn, made it hard to argue.

A late season swoon that saw him catch no more than four passes for no more than 51 yards in three of the final four regular-season games probably hindered those chances, but that doesn't take away from what he meant to Texas A&M and Manziel. He was Manziel's go-to guy for two seasons, and his ability to catch passes under any circumstance -- jump balls, double teams, triple teams, tightroping the sideline -- helped Texas A&M's offense be as explosive as it was. He has every tool he needs to be a great receiver, and he utilized them all.

Making all that even more impressive is that he played only one season of varsity football at Galveston (Texas) Ball High. As a result of his elite production while in the maroon-and-white, he's headed to the NFL draft after only two seasons in college -- as a likely first-round pick.

The rundown:

Sam Khan | email

Texas A&M/SEC reporter

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