Evans Talks Final Three

Auburn (Ala.) five-star linebacker Rashaan Evans will make his decision from a pool of schools, including Auburn, Alabama, and UCLA...

Montgomery, Ala.--Wednesday was the start of what will be a busy and hectic three weeks for five-star Rashaan Evans as he was named the Alabama Class 6A Back of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

With visits scheduled for Alabama this coming weekend and Auburn next weekend, having already visited his third finalist UCLA earlier in the fall, Evans said it was great to be able to take a break from recruiting and enjoy his accomplishments from a big senior year at Auburn High School.

"It is a big award," Evans said. "I'm humbled and honored just to get the award. Out of all the players that play the same position I play, just to win the award I'm happy about it. I'm very humbled and thankful that God gave me the ability and all the traits I have in order to win it."

Starting his senior season as a four-star prospect on Scout.com, Evans put together a monster year for Coach Tim Carter that saw him lead the Tigers to the Class 6A title game before losing to Hoover High. He also won the MVP in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and was a top performer in the Under Armour All-Star Game as well.

Evans noted that through it all he learned a valuable lesson. "It has been a wild process," Evans said. "Just starting from where I did and working my way up to where I am now has been a journey. I feel like it's always going to be something that will push me forward throughout my whole career because I know that regardless of where you start it's always about where you finish. That has made me stronger."

Following his time in Florida for the Under Armour game and practices, Evans had the opportunity to sit down with is family and begin to narrow down his list. Without worrying about the recruiting process and visits for a few weeks, he said he eliminated both Georgia and Ole Miss so he can concentrate on just three.

"I feel like the holiday break was probably the best thing for me as far as my whole recruiting process," Evans said. "I feel like it gave me a chance to think about the schools I wanted to stay in my top list and the schools I wanted to leave behind. That's kind of what I did, eliminated two schools, and now I'm happy to have three schools I'm looking forward to pursuing."

One of those schools is the hometown Auburn Tigers. Building a strong relationship with Gus Malzahn, Ellis Johnson and the rest of the coaching staff, Evans said there is a lot to like about the Tigers at the moment.

"With Auburn it's just the family base," Evans said. "Auburn is my hometown and I have grown up in Auburn all my life. The fact that Gus Malzahn becoming the new head coach, he turned the whole program around from what it has been. Big ups to him. He's a great coach, him and Rhett Lashlee and Rodney Garner and the rest of the coaching staff. They are all great guys.

"I feel like any player in the nation, if they were to go to that school, would get every opportunity to get to the level they want to."

Taking his visit to Alabama this weekend, he said there is a draw for him in Tuscaloosa as well.

"With Alabama it's just Nick Saban and his whole program," Evans said. "It's about developing players to the best of their ability. I feel like if I were to go to that school I would have the same outcome just like the other great guys that have been through there, the Mark Ingram's and Trent Richardson's and Mark Barron's. Also with some of the guys that have already committed like Ronnie  Clark, I'm real close with them. If I were to go there I would definitely have a good time."

Last but not least is UCLA. Being recruited hard by Jim Mora and the Bruins, Evans has already made a trip to California and said he can see himself playing in that defense moving forward.

"Just with Jeff Ulbrich (UCLA assistant) and the head coach, it's definitely something different from what a lot of guys would consider," Evans said. "Them being on the West Coast and me bring from the South, but just the whole organization I feel like they had a great season this year. They are in the Top 25. I thought Coach Ulbrich was a great guy and with his guidance and coaching I feel like he can definitely get me to the place I want to be."

With a visit to Alabama this weekend before his Auburn trip next week, Evans said he's excited about seeing the Tigers' coaches and players once again. After that it will be time to sit down and make a decision. That could come anytime between now and signing day, but first for Evans will be one last look at Auburn.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Evans said of his Auburn visit. "I'm looking forward to having a good time over there with the coaches and seeing those guys, also the current guys there. I know we're going to have a great time. I'm excited about it."

Bruin Report Online Top Stories