Two memories resonate inside the mind of Newbury Park (Calif.) defensive back Marques Evans regarding Boise State: watching his cousin Keith Price of the University of Washington go against them in the 2012 Maaco Bowl, and becoming enamored by the play of former Broncos wide receiver Titus Young during his time on the blue turf.
Those two memories explain why Boise State became Evans’ “dream school,” and now the school he has verbally committed to.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Evans announced on social media on Aug. 15 that he will become a Bronco, saying no to offers from Hawaii, Wyoming, Utah State and a late charge from Fresno State in the process. The Broncos extended a scholarship offer to the 2017 product on Aug. 14 and, nearly 24 hours later, Evans got convinced that it was time to make his college choice on the eve of Newbury Park’s Aug. 26 season opener at Oxnard (Calif.) Pacifica.
“Boise has been my dream school ever since I watched my cousin Keith Price play against them when he was the quarterback at UW. I love their winning tradition,” Evans said. “I remember watching Titus Young snag some ridiculous catches (during one game) and when they picked my cousin off to win that bowl game.”
Outside of the lasting memories of both the Maaco Bowl and Young’s play, Evans told Scout that he loved how approachable the Bronco coaches were to him, which provided another selling point for Evans.
“The coaches were honest with me. They told me that if I came in and handled business, I have a good chance to see the field early and compete,” Evans said. “Coach (Ashley) Ambrose expressed that he sees me as a physical and good man-to-man corner. But they also play a lot of zone and man. I like that.”
Evans looks like an ideal fit for the Broncos’ exotic 4-2-5 scheme that’s known for forcing turnovers and calling for versatility out of their secondary. In shoulder pads last season, Evans emerged as the Panthers' top island cornerback, getting the call to press at the line of scrimmage and having the task of hovering over the opposition’s top receiver in man coverage. His role culminated in 18 pass deflections and three interceptions for the Panthers.
During the off-season, Evans spilt time at cornerback and safety during the 7v7 circuit with the Pro Way; featuring fellow national recruits Tristan Gebbia (Nebraska quarterback commit), Keyshawn Johnson (a Huskers receiver commit), Darnay Holmes and Brian Hightower. Evans was given the task of covering the slot receiver and making quarterbacks hesitate to throw across the middle on inside routes.
The three-star Evans becomes the first defensive back commit for Boise’s 2017 class. He also won’t be the lone 805 representative on the Bronco roster once he arrives to Boise, as former Ventura County quarterbacks Anthony Upshaw (Moorpark) and friend Jake Constantine (Camarillo) help occupy the Bronco depth chart. Evans said he likes the fact that the latter is over there now.
“Knowing that Jake is up there makes me feel that much better. Jake and I chat it up all the time,” Evans said. “I'm happy I'll have someone from home with me. Jake wanted me to make the best decision for me and he would have been just as happy if I chose any other university.”
Now comes two more goals for Evans: exceeding the high expectations NPHS has this upcoming year and trying to convince another 805 guy to head out to the blue turf, fellow highly-recruited running back teammate Chris Brooks.
“Newbury Park is up to something special this year and I would love to play four more years with Chris. He's my brother,” Evans said. “I'm going to be trying to get him, no doubt.”