2004 Draft Prospect Interview: Lee Evans

Days before the combines, Lee Evans was not even sure he was going to run. His counsel had told him it would be a good idea. So he ran and he ran well. He posted the second best time amongst all wide receivers at the combine, a 4.31. Not bad for a kid who came off a serious knee injury.

"My competitiveness is one of my strengths," Evans said. "I love playing football. I love to compete. That is one of the things I have done through my athletic career. Sometime you have to have the heart to do it."

And compete he did – and it wasn't just at the combines.

Following a junior season in which he set the Big Ten record for receiving yards for a single a season with 1,545, Lee Evans was forced to endure two painful surgeries, in May and November of 2002, leading to a medical redshirt year. Despite the time off the field and the excruciating rehab process, the 5-11, 202-pound wide receiver bounced back with a 64 reception, 1,213 yard senior season where he snared 13 touchdowns and put to rest any questions of his health on a 99 yard TD catch early on.

With the strong numbers from his senior season, Evans has become the second leading receiver in Big Ten history with 3,417 yards. Evans also holds the Wisconsin records for receptions with 171 and receiving touchdowns with 26.

Yet, Evans knew he was going to have to answer more questions regarding the health of his knee.

"Certainly, I was going to have to answer quite a few questions," Evans replied. "Until they saw it with their own eyes and had their people test it. They are going to have doubts. At the combines I showed that it was fine and I am fine."

Did that injury help you mentally for the upcoming challenges?

"Definitely, it is such a strenuous process," Evans said. "You go through so many ups and downs. It puts a tremendous strain on your mind. Some days you can do something, some days you cant. You have good days and bad days and dealing with that process and to just get through it and be strong – it does a lot for you."

Not only did the injury help him see things in a different light, Evans feels confident he can go from being team captain to a lowly rookie in the NFL.

"It is a learning process," said Evans. "There is so much more that I have to learn and so much more that goes on. I am aware of that. Despite all I did in college, when you step up to a whole new class things change. I love to learn. You learn something new everyday. Taking this next step it is going to be the same. Learn from the people who have already been there – learn from the veterans."

Along with the learning will be minimizing weaknesses. Evans says he just needs to continue gaining knowledge and experience.

While the injury has healed, there are lingering effects:

"I need to work on my flexibility," Evans said. "That is something that I am doing now and have been doing for a long time. I am one of those people that have to consistently stay active so I can stay around for a while."

Representatives from at least nine-teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and Miami Dolphins have shown the desire to speak with the standout wide receiver.

Chris Chambers of the Dolphins is lobbying for Evans to join them and it would take the 20th overall selection to nab the speedster. Chambers and Evans went to the same high school and the same college.

"He is somebody whom I was able to talk to throughout this whole process," Evans said. "And even before when he was going through it.

"I would love to play with him."

Evans will have another chance to impress today, March 3rd, as he works out at his Pro Day.

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