Evans Talks About Coming Home

Former Notre Dame and Inglewood (Calif.) receiver Shaquelle Evans talks about why he chose to return Los Angeles and enroll at UCLA and his future with the Bruins...

Shaquelle Evans grew up a UCLA fan.

Then he committed to USC in the fall of 2008 while ultimately signing with Notre Dame in February of 2009.

Evans came full circle, though, when earlier this week, he enrolled at UCLA.

It completed a long journey that took the former Inglewood (Calif.) and U.S. Army All-American receiver to South Bend to play for Charlie Weis and brought him back home to Southern California, where he'll finish his career playing for the school he grew up rooting for.

"Just the fact that UCLA was close to home, and my family could see me play, it made a big impact for me," said Evans. "UCLA is building up to complete for Pac-10 championships and next year I think we'll get there."

Evans enrolled on Monday and will start classes next week at UCLA, and said he would begin practicing with UCLA on Wednesday, to begin to learn the offense.

"I'm already enrolled in school and will probably start practicing this week," said Evans. "There is a good chance that I can come in and show what I can do and then with spring practice, hopefully have a chance to start next year."

Evans initially became interested in UCLA when Karl Dorrell was the head coach for the Bruins, when he was fresh off a stellar performance at the B2G Elite Camp in the summer of 2007. When the coaching change happened in Westwood, Evans still was strongly considering UCLA, with head coach Rick Neuheisel and receivers coach Reggie Moore recruiting him.

He committed to USC during the season, but then switched to Notre Dame in November of 2008 and then signed with the Irish on Signing Day.

Evans played for the Irish as a freshman, but a coaching change there, with Weis being fired and replaced by Brian Kelly, kept pushing him to return home.

"I don't regret going to Notre Dame at all," said Evans. "At the time it made sense. I learned a lot from Coach (Rob) Ianello and that was a big help. But I wanted to be close to my family."

Once Evans got his release from Notre Dame, three Pac-10 schools, UCLA, Cal and Oregon, expressed interest in him.

"Oregon was a good option for me, and Cal was another one, but then they had started school so I wanted to wait. And UCLA was close to home and was a really good opportunity for me," said Evans. "Coach Moore was talking with me, but it was ultimately Coach Neuheisel who was the reason."

After the transfer, Evans said he it was draining on him to make a decision.

"It's very relieving because now I can focus on school and football," said Evans. "It's a privilege for me too because I get a second chance to play at a great university for a great program. I'm blessed to have that second chance."

And with a second chance given, Evans said he plans to make the most of it.

"I just want to get better and look forward to starting to work out with the team and getting better and joining the offense," said Evans. "I know a lot of those guys from when I was being recruited, like Randall Carroll, Morrell Presley and it will be fun to play with them."

Bruin Report Online Top Stories