IN THE HUDDLE: Ian Evans

In a state that uncovers a new rising star each week, here is someone who we believe will be climbing the ladder over the next eight months. A talented defensive end who is capable of playing five different positions, and to make things more impressive, he comes from a professional football family!

During the spring and into the summer, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Ian Evans
POSITION: TE/DE
SCHOOL: Clearwater Countryside
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 237
40 SPEED: 4.7
HEAD COACH: John Davis
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: 229

I have said all along that when you evaluate a high school football player, the wise thing to do before making any judgments – positive or negative – is to understand everything possible about the athlete in question.

While watching film on players like Evans is always an enhancement, you also need to know what type of offense and defense the team runs, and does it help to showcase the athlete's talents. Some athletes flourish better than others when it comes to being a role player.
Evans is the son of Gary Evans, a former New York Jets lineman back in the 1970s. While that doesn't qualify him to be the same kind of athlete his father was, it does give him a major advantage in the learning process of the game.

A year ago, Evans made the move from tight end, which was a position many thought he had a bright future at, to the defensive side of the ball. He was also shifted to nose tackle, which further illustrates my statement about an athlete being able to play a role to its fullest.

Still, even though Evans was shifted to a position he had never played before, he learned enough and gave everything he had to make the best of his new situation. He was named Most Improved Player on the Defense by his coaches and teammates. That gave Evans plenty to work with as he headed toward his senior year.

Born in Bethel Park , Pa. (outside of Pittsburgh), Evans lived in that football hotbed until he was 12, then moving to northern California for three years before heading to Florida.

STRENGTHS: Coming from a football background, Evans' move to the defensive side of the ball has been one that he has embraced. In the spring game against Seminole, you can see his quickness and nose for the football shine through. Many who had the opportunity to watch the game came away believing that this young man was an upper level football prospect.

In a state that often has a number of quality football players who simply get overlooked, here is one who has quickly picked up the attention from schools who love his size and athletic ability.

There is little doubt when you watch a film on this young man, you can spot him from the moment you flip on the machine. He flies to where the ball is, plays off blocks and has his head always pointed toward the flow of the play. Those are instincts that you tend to pick up by being around the game.

At the Rutgers Camp, which was held at Tampa Middleton in early June, Evans was singled out by coaches who had talked to me about the way he looked very impressive on defense in the early workouts and then turned some heads as a pass-catching tight end in the afternoon.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: This is someone who will grow. He has size 15 feet and a wingspan that measures 6-feet-6, which signals that either as a defensive end or as a tight end, he will grow and take up more space on that line.

Wherever he ends up, he will need to start concentrating on technique and what it takes to get better at one particular position.

OVERALL: While colleges have mentioned Evans at every position from linebacker to tight end and offensive tackle, I would love to see him play that tight end spot. I think he has the frame, athletic ability and the hands to play the position.

This is yet another football player from the Sunshine State who is earning a reputation as being someone who is quickly rising up the charts! He also carries a solid B average and has qualified in all his testing, which is another reason colleges are keeping a close eye on his every summer move.

Evans won the 2004 Sunshine State Games javelin event and finished second in the shot put. He was the MVP of his track team and was named All-County.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: Obviously, Rutgers would be a great fit for Evans, but UCF, other Big East, Big-10, ACC and SEC schools continue to request more film and checking out where he is camping.

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRON SANDERS – BRADENTON SOUTHEAST
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL WENGER – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: DEANDRE MCDANIEL – TALLAHASSEE GODBY
IN THE HUDDLE: ORLANDO FRANKLIN – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: TRAVIUS THOMPSON –LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON THOMPKINS –PALM BEACH LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSH LONG –FORT MYERS
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON ROSE – TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
IN THE HUDDLE: TANNER JONES – CRAWFORDVILLE WAKULLA
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS UHRIG – TAMPA JESUIT
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSEPH JACKSON – MIAMI BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
IN THE HUDDLE: SAM YOUNG – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: MELVIN PATTERSON – ALACHUA SANTA FE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHANCE ATTAWAY – BLOUNTSTOWN
IN THE HUDDLE: GEORGE ROBINSON – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: TIMOTHY BROWN – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: XAVIER HARRIS – FORT LAUDERDALE
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL LINCOLN – OCALA FOREST
IN THE HUDDLE: PATRICK ADOLPHE – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: QUINTIN HANCOCK – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHARLES DEAS – LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: DONALD BOWENS – ST. PETERSBURG
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT LOVE - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: CAZ PIUROWSKI – LAND O'LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: STERLIN JAMES – SPARR NORTH MARION
IN THE HUDDLE: JOHN WARE – FORT LAUDERDALE CARDINAL GIBBONS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKEVIOUS POWELL – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: BILLY LOWE - LAKELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVON HILL – MIAMI MONSIGNOR PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: CODY CLINTON – BOCA RATON
IN THE HUDDLE: JARED MARTIN – DAVIE WESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: COLIN MCCARTHY – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: DONTAE JONES – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: DAMON PIFER – GREEN COVE SPRINGS CLAY
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS SORCE - PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: SHOMARI GRANT - HIALEAH
IN THE HUDDLE: DARRELL ROSEMAN - DUNEDIN
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES POE – ORLANDO FREEDOM
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN ELLIS – PONTA VEDRA BEACH NEASE
IN THE HUDDLE: COURTNEY JONES: PENSACOLA
IN THE HUDDLE: BRYAN THOMAS - ZEPHYRHILLS
IN THE HUDDLE: JORDAN DALRYMPLE - OVIEDO
IN THE HUDDLE: PRESTON PARKER – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: SABBATH JOSEPH – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN KHAWLY – HOMESTEAD SOUTH DADE
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON JAMES – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: KEITH HOUSTON – IVES ESTATES DR. MICHAEL KROP
IN THE HUDDLE: REGGIE ODOM - DELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: C.J. SPILLER – LAKE BUTLER UNION COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RILEY COOPER – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES JAMISON – STARKE BRADFORD COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: DESMOND GEE - MADISON COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RICKY GARY - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: LAURANCE MARIUS – KEY WEST
IN THE HUDDLE: KENRICK ELLIS – GREENACRES JOHN I. LEONARD
IN THE HUDDLE: RICHARD JACKSON – CLERMONT EAST RIDGE
IN THE HUDDLE: LABRANDON GLOVER - PENSACOLA

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