Donnie Evege (5-11, 185-pounds) would like a chance to carry the ball in college, but most schools are looking to transition him to the defensive backfield. Knowing that Evege is out to make a statement during his senior season and prove that he has the size to be a top Division I running back.
"I'm just trying to hit the weight room harder than ever," Evege said of his plans for the spring. "Not as much the weight gain as the strength gain. The weight will come. The way our program is molded, I'll get a lot faster too. One of my goals is to get to 200 pounds and still run a 4.3 –forty. We do a lot of leg workouts; a lot of core lifts. I'm enjoying it right now. We lift in the mornings at 6:00 a.m.
"I just finished the indoor track. I decided I'm not going to run outdoor this year. I'm still going to do some speed programs, but I want to dedicate myself to the weight program at Wayne and to football. I received the ‘Key to the Weight Room' award by Alex Ritchie. That was a huge honor."
Evege has the honor of already holding offers from Ohio State, Purdue, Miami (Ohio), West Virginia and Indiana. He also has a clear leader at this time.
"I can honestly say that Ohio State is No. 1 right now," Evege said of the home state Buckeyes. "I went to the pro day at Ohio State. It was a great honor to go down there again. Just watching how A.J. Hawk, Carpenter, and Santonio Holmes, and seeing how those guys work out was great. I got to see some NFL coaches from a distance. I got to shake coach [Bill] Cowher's hand, from the Steelers. I talked to him for a quick second -- that was fun.
"Other schools that are showing interest are Indiana. Indiana has been sending me some really nice mail, hand-written mail. I went down to their junior day. I had a great time meeting the coaching staff. They're recruiting me pretty hard.
"Stanford has been sending me some mail and recruiting me," Evege continued. "That's a little different for me. They send me mail on a regular basis. Georgia Tech has been sending me some stuff. Virginia has started to send mail. Michigan has been in touch with me. I got a chance to call them. I spoke with coach [Mike] Debord. A lot of schools have been sending me mail, but those are the ones that have been sending me the hand-written mail."
Notre Dame had been recruiting Donnie heavily at one point, and although he hasn't had direct contact with the Irish coaching staff, Evege remains interested.
"I receive a text every now and then from the Irish," Evege explained. "They want to know how I'm doing. They asked to get my tape into them as soon as possible. That's something that we're definitely working on -- we're trying to get that to them. We don't know why the last one didn't work. We'll get that fixed. Other than that with the Irish, I still get the mail. I don't really talk to them on the phone at all. [Text messaging] is all you really can do in March and April. I'm definitely still interested in Notre Dame, I just have to get them the film."
Ohio State is at the top of Evege's list of schools, and it will be very difficult to displace them, but Donnie is still going to give other colleges a look.
"My strategy right now is, I want to commit early," Evege said of his timeframe for a decision. "I definitely want to do it before the first game, ideally before July. I still want to see some schools; obviously I can't make the official visits. Me, my father and family are still trying to go to all the junior days and unofficial visits that we can, tour the campuses and meet the coaching staffs. Once the decision is made and I know where I want to go, I can make the decision."