Jeremy Werner

2018 ATH Samson Evans visits Illini

2018 Prairie Ridge athlete Samson Evans recaps visit to Illinois, other programs showing interest

Samson Evans is listed as a quarterback on Crystal Lake (Ill.) Prairie Ridge's roster. But leading the Wolves' triple-option offense, Evans is simply a playmaker.

So it's no surprise that when asked about a player he watches more than any as inspiration, Evans named a non-quarterback.

"Christian McCaffery, definitely," Evans said, referring to the Stanford running back who finished second in the Heisman voting last season. "I just love watching him play. He's just an awesome player. He's a phenomenal athlete."

Evans is a pretty phenomenal athlete too. He ran two sub 4.5-second 40-yard dashes (4.46 and 4.49) at the Illinois satellite camp in Barrington last June. He has led Prairie Ridge to a 7-0 start and has 714 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 94 carries (7.6 yards per carry). He's also 14-for-25 passing for 359 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

After seeing his talent up close this summer and monitoring his big junior season, Illinois invited Evans -- a fast, physical playmaker -- for an unofficial visit for Saturday's game against Purdue.

"They've been contacting me a lot lately, trying to get me down and trying to get me to visit, see what it's like," Evans said. "They're just trying to figure out which position they see me at basically."

Evans enjoyed his first visit to the Big Ten school.

"I think Illinois' a really nice school, a really nice place," Evans said. "The stadium looks beautiful. The whole campus is beautiful. They've just been talking to me and saying the want to recruit me. But right now, they don't know where I'm going to play yet. So they want to see my film and go from there."

Evans holds offers from Army (which runs a triple-option offense), Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. He also said that Syracuse, Boston College and Ball State have shown interest.

"I want to say it's Syracuse and Ball State that have shown the most interest," Evans said. "I just like how the coaches are, how they're always talking to me before games and after games and always trying to get me out there for a visit."

Schools are showing interest in Evans at several positions: quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back. Which does he prefer?

"I just want the ball in my hands," Evans said, "so any position that does that like running back, slot, any position on offense really would be good."

Evans said he hasn't played defense recently but is open to the idea.

"I'd be more than happy to do that," Evans said. "I love hitting people, so safety would be awesome."

Evans' recruiting star is just starting to rise, and he's just starting to get an idea of what he wants in a college.

"I'm just looking for a school that really wants me and obviously has a good academic school," Evans said. "I want a school I'll be able to do well at and play as soon as possible."

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