Catching up with Bryan Evans

San Antonio, Texas - <b>Bryan Evans</b> is one of the top cornerback prospects in the country. He arrived in San Antonio this afternoon after canceling a visit with the Florida, but that cancellation is more indicative of Evans' hectic schedule than it is of his interest in the Gators.

Bryan Evans is in San Antonio as a member of the East Squad that will be playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next week. Evans was not happy with his season overall, but he understands how hard a coaching change can be. He is looking forward to one last challenge on the high school level before heading to college. We talked about his season, the Army All-American Bowl, and where Evans might be continuing his career.

"My stats were good, but I wasn't really happy because we didn't do as well as I thought we were going to do our senior year, because of the change of Coach Disch and the new coach," said Evans. "We did the best that we could have done due to all of the changes. It's not the coach's fault, it was just hard to make all of the changes."

Evans put on a show as a senior on both sides of the ball, and the "slash" nickname would have been appropriate for his senior season as well.

"I played on both sides again. I played running back, quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback, and I played a lot of safety this year. I was playing like a nickel, when I would come up towards the line and blitz from the blind side. I had five interceptions this year for two touchdowns. I threw two passing touchdowns. I had three catches for touchdowns, and I ran for three touchdowns. I didn't get the ball kicked to me all year. I only got to return two kicks all year. There a lot of high pooches, and kicking away from me, that limited me on kicks, and they didn't punt it to me at all."

Evans was not content with the way his senior season ended, and he is looking forward to getting the chance to get back on the field with his East Teammates this week. Getting selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was a great honor for him.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas., at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m., Eastern. Scout.com is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.

Evans has already scouted the competition this week, and he has picked out several players he is looking forward to seeing.

"Going against Fred Rouse and Patrick Turner this week, I'm looking forward to that. DeSean Jackson...speed. Jackson and Ryan Perrilloux on the other team, that's a good quarterback and a good wide receiver. That should be fun. I was so happy just to get the chance to prove what I can do. I know I'm not one of the highly ranked corners in the nation, but I think I can compete with pretty much the best.""

That statement alone goes a long way towards showing how humble Evans is. He is currently ranked the #6 corner in the entire country by Scout.com. It's easy for one to tell that he is still self conscious about a camp performance this summer that I attended where Evans was not at his best.

"I really didn't perform my best at the Florida camp. That spring, with the new system, I had only worked on the offensive side of the ball. I didn't do any defensive back work in the spring."

Coaches know better than to judge a player based on one day in which he might not have been at his best. The offers didn't stop coming in did they?

"No, they really didn't. It didn't slow down any of my offers. I I was worried that I didn't perform my best, but the coaches really didn't see it that way."

Inevitably, the subject of colleges come up, and this conversation was no different. Evans was trying to squeeze in a visit before he left for San Antonio, but that would have proved to have been too strenuous a schedule over the long haul.

"I was trying to go to Florida this weekend, but then I was going to have four weekends in a row that I was visiting out of town. I knew I was going to get tired, and I knew I didn't want to go to a college and be tired and not interested. You know if you're tired, you're not going to have as much fun as if I went every other weekend or something. I know it's going to be a lot on my parents too. They're driving all the way here (to San Antonio). All this traveling, and I know they're going to get tired of it. So I was trying to do what was best for us."

Evans will be part of the festivities in San Antonio next weekend, but he has two open weekends left.

"I'm going to Georgia on the 21st.  On the 28th it was supposed to be Florida State, but my recruiting coach, I guess he resigned. They call me every once in a while, but it feels like they're backing down a little bit. I don't know if that's because they got Michael Ray Garvin or not. I talked with Coach Zook, and he really wants me to look at Illinois, so I might go up there that weekend. Since Florida is so close, I might take a midweek visit to them, or I might just go on an unofficial."

Georgia, Illinois, Florida... Evans has already taken two visits.

"I've already been to Tennessee and LSU. Pretty much all of them are still in contention."

When asked if he had narrowed his choices from those five, Evans talked about one school right away.

"Florida just got back in it. Coach Meyer actually came to my job. He came and saw me at work. That was a shocker to me. He told me he was going to do it, but I didn't really believe it. My supervisor said that there was a coach at the desk, and I said 'Man, stop playin'. Then my next supervisor came by and asked me why I hadn't left yet, and I told him 'I thought you were playin'. So I went down there and Coach Meyer was standing there with his Gator Sweatshirt, and I really couldn't believe it."

"I was just amazed that he came to my job. It showed me how much they were interested in me. It really showed me that he was in need of a cornerback. They only have five on scholarship, so if they play a five receiver team, and put have five cornerbacks on scholarship right now, I think I can fit in somewhere and play early.

Despite talking about Florida when asked about favorites, Evans was still not ready to out and out claim the Gators as a leader. Evans said that Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida were all even. With his former coach Dan Disch at Florida, this one looked like a done deal, but his firing opened the door for other schools to make a run at the talented corner.

Was that door opened enough to unseat the Gators? Talking with Bryan Evans today in San Antonio, I'd say Florida is still the team to beat.

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