“We had a fun little thing here. I had a letter written up to Kyle that I gave him but I called him up and acted like he had gotten in trouble,” head coach Mike MacIntyre explained. “He read it out loud and he started crying and the whole team jumped on top of him. It was pretty special. He has earned the right and he is going to play a lot of football for us.”
Said Evans: “I was trying to think about all the little bitty things that I might have done wrong the past two years that could have caught up with me at that moment in time because he made me read off a sheet of paper. Luckily it was a scholarship versus anything bad. It turned out to be the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be.”
Now a former walk-on from San Jose, Calif., Evans saw action in 10 games as a redshirt freshman last season. Although most of his playing time came on special teams, Evans did gain 52 yards on the ground and he scored a late touchdown against Nicholls State.
Evans continued to impress the Buffaloes' coaches this spring and he won the Iron Buffalo Award for the running backs, which recognizes hard work, dedication, toughness and total lifting performance.
“He had a great spring, he has had a great fall, and he made a huge play out here today in practice,” MacIntyre said. “It is hard to tackle him. He is short, and he was quick when he got here, but now he is pound-for-pound the strongest guy on the team. He is doing a lot of great things and he is an excellent student.
“I am not saying he is these guys, but he is in-between a Tony Jones and an Eric Bieniemy. Again, I am not saying he is Eric Bieniemy, but he is built like that and he moves like that. He just keeps improving and improving.”
Evans had some lower division offers coming out of Archbishop Mitty High School but it was hard for him to stand out to FBS recruiters being 5-foot-6. Colorado offered him a preferred walk-on spot after he amassed 2,152 all-purpose yards at the prep level.
“I am the type of person who sticks by his decision so I didn't regret at all coming here to Colorado,” Evans said. “All the friends I have made on the team and in the Business school, this is the best decision I could have made. I have friends here that I am going to stick with forever, that will be at my wedding, be my best man.”
“My teammates didn't treat me any different, so it is not like I would walk around and everybody knew I was a walk-on guy. Most people were surprised that I wasn't on scholarship from the start. Luckily hard work pays off,” he added. “[Being placed on scholarship] literally just happened a couple minutes ago so it is kind of surreal right now; hasn't really hit yet.”
Evans believes his ability to fully embrace and take pride in his role as a special teams contributor and back-up running back has been the key in his development. He said Colorado fans can expect to see “full effort” every time No. 28 is on the field the next three years.
“Shout-out to all those other walk-ons... keep working hard, maybe it'll end up in a good way for you, too,” Evans said enthusiastically. “All the training we do over summer, these past two years just fitting into my role ended up paying off so I am glad. Now I have to go call my mom and dad and brother and the rest of my family.”