- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Despite FBS offers approaching double digits, three-star guard Ki-Jana Evans (Chicago/Harlan Community Academy) took his first official visit this weekend to an FCS program.
Evans made the trip to Southern Illinois for his first visit to SIU -- an official visit.
“I loved it down there,” Evans said. “The players treat each other like family. They’re a real tight group, and the place is real beautiful and it felt like I was at home.”
Talking with Salukis coaches, Evans was told he would play left tackle and have a chance to break into the starting rotation right away.
“They told me I’ll be running with the No. 2 squad,” Evans said, “and I can come prove myself and play as a true freshman.”
Southern Illinois is now the favorite for the 6-foot-3, 312-pound Evans, while Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky round out his top three. He is in the process of setting up visits to those two programs.
Evans was at Eastern Michigan earlier this year for a football camp.
“The way the coaches and particularly the O-line coach are, they coach real similar to my coaches,” he said. “And they got a real tough coach [Ron English] and that’s good. You need that nowadays.”
One of the assistant coaches at Chicago Harlan played at Western Kentucky and has talked to Evans about his experience in college.
“He told me it’s a nice place to go, and the student population is really good down there,” Evans said his coach told him. “You get a feel like it’s home. It’s away from home but you feel like you’re at home.”
547dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert