There’s not much more Oklahoma offensive tackle Bobby Evans could have asked for from his redshirt freshman season.
He cemented himself as the starter at right tackle. He was a part of a dominant offensive line that helped the Sooners end the season on a 10-game winning streak.
That’s not too bad. But Evans had to overcome adversity even if it wasn’t his own. His older brother, Tay Evans, was a starter for the Sooners at middle linebacker heading into the 2016 season.
However, before conference play began, it was revealed Tay Evans’ career would be over because of concussion issues. A family bond wasn’t about to be broken, but their dream of playing together was now done.
“Man, that was heartbreaking,” Bobby Evans said. “I mean that’s who I started playing with. Seeing him go down puts more pressure on me because now I’m playing for him and for me.”
The goal was always for Bobby and Tay to play together, and OU just made sense because their father, Bobby Joe, was a star for OU’s basketball team.
Bobby was the first commit to sign with OU for the 2015 class, and Tay followed for the 2014 class not too long after.
Both endured a redshirt year but both were ready to make an impact heading into the 2016 season, Bobby as a redshirt freshman and Tay as a redshirt sophomore.
Tay’s career coming to an end is another reminder of just how quickly things can change in football.
“It was really different,” Bobby Evans said. “When I think football, that’s who I started playing with. Me in second grade, him in third grade. We had that idea of always playing together.
“When we got told he couldn’t play anymore, it was hard to cope with. It broke my heart, but I still had a job to do. We’re progressing. Me on the field, and he’s trying to earn his Master’s degree at the moment. He can’t sit back and cry about it. He’s moving on, and I’m proud of him.”
Moving on for both means going separate way for the first time. But Bobby knows Tay will be watching, and Bobby knows with the talent of the offensive line, he’s got to make sure he’s at his best every single time.
“It makes us work even harder,” said Bobby about the depth at offensive line. “We set standards for each other know we have to meet those standards. We have to play up to our best potential, or we could get rolled out easily.”