Bama Gets Pleasant Recruiting Surprise

So much for gut feelings in recruiting. Rashaan Evans, the number one outside linebacker prospect in the nation, certainly surprised most when he announced on Wednesday that he was signing to play football at The University of Alabama. He picked the Crimson Tide over his hometown Auburn University.

Rashaan Evans had been expected to choose between Alabama and Auburn, although UCLA was also in the mix.

Evans is the son of a former Auburn player, Alan Evans, but he also has family connections to The University.

Evans, a 6-3, 218-pound linebacker who played at Auburn High School, is a five-star prospect who is rated number one in the nation at his position.

On Wednesday, Evans said that he had not made up his mind until Tuesday night. "That's when I kind of confirmed that Alabama was the best school for me.

"I kind of took out the aspect of me being so stressed out about choosing a school. I sat down with my parents and we just talked about the best school for me. "

He did say that he got some advice from a former Auburn High teammate who also selected the Tide over the Tigers.

A year ago Reuben Foster was the nation's top linebacker prospect. He had transferred from a Georgia high school to play his senior season at Auburn High. Foster announced for Auburn during his senior year, but on Signing Day went with Alabama.

Evans said that Foster helped him in the recruiting process. "He told me to pick the best school for me," Evans said. "He told me not to think about it so much where it stresses me out. Reuben is a great guy who went through the same type of thing I went through when he was in high school. He told me to follow my heart and pick the right school for me."

He said that another factor was Alabama's emphasis on education as well as football.

It may be that the bottom line is that Auburn was unable to convince Evans that he could be a Star. Well, not that he couldn't. Star is a position in Auburn's defense. It is not a regular position in any NFL team's defense. Star is a hybrid defensive back and linebacker. Evans wants to be a rush-the-passer outside linebacker. Like most top players, he wants eventually to play in the NFL, and Alabama holds the trump cards in that game.

Evans said that at Alabama "I'm not expecting anything. What I'm going to do is go in and fight. I'm a person who believes that hard work pays off."

Evans said that the recruiting process had been "very, very hectic," but admitted, "Really, I have enjoyed it a lot."

Now, he said, he'll enjoy the rest of his high school career.

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