Evans Impressed by UNC Atmosphere

North Carolina became the latest school to offer Donta Evans, a linebacker from Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer, late last week. The offer served as a precursor for a big weekend in Chapel Hill.

“I was talking to Coach [Charlton Warren] on Twitter and then my coach got in contact with him,” Evans said. “He told me to call [Warren] and when I called him, he offered me. He told me that he liked my film, how I use my hands, and how I have an instinct for the ball. He told me he was going to go over how I’d fit into the defense on Saturday.”

Saturday, of course, was UNC’s exclusive junior day. There, Warren told Evans that he sees the 6-foot-2, 226-pound linebacker playing either middle or weak-side linebacker within the newly installed 4-3 defensive scheme.

“He said I would be incorporated into the defense in a bunch of different ways,” Evans said.

UNC is the fourth school to offer Evans. Auburn, Kentucky, and NC State round out the remainder of his list.

“I only have four offers and they’re all pretty much on the same level,” Evans said. “I can’t really give you a top five, because I only have four. But they were all pretty amazing. I really can’t say which one was the best, but atmosphere wise I would say North Carolina was the best. But I could see myself playing at all four schools right now.”

Outside of NC State, which he visited last season, Evans has attended junior days at each of the four schools that have offered him. Additionally, he has visited South Carolina and Virginia Tech for junior days.

Evans and his father are working on visit dates to Illinois, Ole Miss, and Tennessee, as well as return trips to Auburn, Kentucky, and UNC.

“I’ll definitely be thinking about North Carolina,” Evans said. “I’ll be back up there this spring to watch a spring practice.”

Along with his friend Tomon Fox and Archer teammate Kobe Smith (an NC State commitment), Evans arrived at UNC on Saturday several hours before the junior day activities began.

“Overall it was a great day,” Evans said. “We played some games and showed us around campus. It was nice. I love the energy that the coaches have.”

The early arrival allowed Evans to spend significant time with John Papuchis, the Tar Heels’ linebackers coach.

“He talked about what he likes to do with his defense and his background,” Evans said. “He coached at Nebraska and he was the youngest defensive coordinator in the country last year, which was amazing in itself.

“He took me into the linebackers’ room and we watched some film and went over how they practiced. I love how he preaches techniques, because that’s what I’m all about.”

Being on campus before most of the junior day visitors didn’t ruin any of the day’s surprises for Evans. To be sure, Evans and his Georgia counterparts were given a campus tour just before the junior day began. Once back at the Kenan Football Center, they were greeted by two faux CIA agents at the door.

“The atmosphere was amazing,” Evans said. “When we first came in, me Tomon and Kobe were all excited. We were like ‘What’s going on?’ We walked in and we had cameras in our face and we felt like big timers. They called us the Three Ballers. And Coach [Larry] Fedora greeted us at the door when we first came in.”

Earlier in the day, Evans received a tip that there would be a corn hole tournament among the junior day attendees. Taking advantage of that information, Evans and Fox worked on their game in UNC’s players’ lounge.

“Tomon and I thought we would be corn hole champions,” Evans said. “But then we got put out in the first round. It was still pretty fun, though.”

The day concluded with the UNC-Duke basketball game.

“First, they let us walk across the court and that was amazing,” Evans said. “The fans were more crazy when we walked by. The support that the basketball team has is amazing.

“Even though they didn’t come up with the win, it was still a very exciting game,” Evans said.

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