Saturday, July 20, 2013
Ole Miss picks up Texas DE/LB hybrid
By Damon Sayles
Victor Evans (Dallas/Skyline) has always been tough to read, particularly in the recruiting game. For weeks, many believed the three-star defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid was a Texas lean.
Saturday’s announcement came as a surprise. It was a pleasant one for Ole Miss fans, and not so much for the Longhorns supporters.
Evans, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound athlete, verbally committed to the Rebels during an unofficial campus visit. Evans is commitment No. 19 for Ole Miss, and he said he was recruited to play defensive end in the Rebels’ defensive scheme.
Evans said his decision came down to Ole Miss and Texas, but the overall campus vibe of Oxford, Miss., proved to be the determining factor.
“The fan vibe there was just genuine. Everything’s real nice up there,” Evans said. “When I got there, all the coaches knew who I was and how I played. It was just the vibe when I hit the campus.”
Evans was recruited to Ole Miss by co-defensive coordinator Jason Jones, but he also built a good relationship with defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, who also is the team’s recruiting coordinator for defense. Evans last month announced a top five of Ole Miss, Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Tulsa. He also had offers from Kansas State, TCU, Michigan State and others.
What Evans brings to the table, aside from size and speed off the line, is versatility. He can effectively play end or linebacker, and he is hoping to be an immediate impact player in the SEC.
Evans is the second Skyline player in as many years to commit to Ole Miss. Four-star quarterback and Elite 11 national qualifier DeVante Kincade committed to the Rebels last July in the 2013 class. Evans said that while he spoke with Kincade about a potential commitment, he was never really recruited by his former teammate.
“He told me that they really wanted me, but at the end of the day it was my decision,” Evans said of Kincade. “He never pressured me. He said wherever I decided, he would support me.”
Because Ole Miss has three outside linebackers in its recruiting class already, Evans is excited about lining up at defensive end. He is the first Rebels commit of the class expected to play defensive end and only the second commit who will play on the defensive line, joining three-star tackle Jamiyus Pittman (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County).
“I like their scheme, and I feel I can make the transition there and help the team,” Evans said. “I know I can come in and compete for a spot. In a big conference, I feel like I can make a difference.”