With National Signing merely hours away for the class of 2009 athletes, the anticipation for some has built up over a matter of weeks or months. But as one of the Sooner-to-be Oklahoma football players said, "overanxious" was the best word he could could come up to describe his emotion with leading in to this afternoon's events.
In fact, Strafford (MO) offensive lineman Tyler Evans is so pumped he may not be able to wait until 2 p.m. when his school is scheduled to have the signing day ceremonies.
"Right now I am anxious to be part of a program that is so great," Evans said. "Coming from a Class 2A school, I think this is a great opportunity and I want to make the state of Missouri proud."
The 6-foot-6, 316-pound Evans was one of the Sooners' first commitments for 2009. When it came down to making a decision from last summer, Evans chose Oklahoma over Nebraska, Kansas State, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and his home state Missouri Tigers.
Now that the day has finally arrived, Evans is more than ready to be in Norman.
"I'd have to say that I am overanxious. I can't wait to sign that paper tomorrow and become a Sooner," Evans said. "With Oklahoma, it always felt like home, but all of the other programs that were recruiting me are great as well. But with Oklahoma, it seems like it is different. I will be part of a great Sooner program and go through the Sooner training."
Evans said that coach James Patton is his recruiting coach and has kept in touch with him throughout the process. For most of Evans' high school career he has played the tackle position, but he said that the coaching staff might look at him as a guard.
"My freshman and sophomore year I played guard, but my (high school) coach needed me to move to tackle for my junior and senior year," Evans said. "Coach Patton said that right now they are looking at me for right guard, but I won't know for sure until after training camp."
And while he looks ahead to his future at Oklahoma, his last season at Strafford was one to remember as well.
"This past year was the second time our football program had a record better than .500," Evans said. "We went 7-4 and we made the playoffs. We lost in the first round, but this was big for us. For us (the senior class) to leave the program on a high note will mean a lot for the players coming up behind us. They have a goal to reach for next year."
At Strafford High School, Evans is set for National Signing Day with a 2 p.m. celebration.
2008 Stats: Evans starred on both sides of the ball as a senior in 2008. He racked up 79 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss, and nine sacks to earn All-District honors. On Offense he earned All-State, All-District, and All-Ozark honors. He was also recognized as the Offensive and Defensive Conference Player of the Year.