Name: Sheroid Evans (pronounced like Sherrod)
Position: Defensive back
Speed: 4.35 40-yard dash
High School: Fort Bend Dulles
Rating (Rivals): Four out of five (5.8)
As a college coach recruiting Sheroid Evans, it probably wasn't particularly difficult to do an evaluation of him. "How fast is he?" should just about do it and that's a pretty preliminary question. The answer to that, of course, is that Evans is not just fast, he's world-class fast. And that's about enough for an instant offer from just about anyone.
How fast is Evans? First of all, that listed 4.35 40 time is pretty legitimate. Second of all, last spring Evans won the 200m and 400m events, not in Texas, but at the National Scholastic Championships in New York. His 47.55 in the 400 was the best time in the country in 2010 and his 21.37 in the 200 was the 16th-best all-time for his age group. Still not convinced? Evans had the second-best time in the country in the 100m in 2010 as well, a 10.34 he ripped off at his district track meet.
In terms of his recruitment, Evans was looking for a school at which he could run track and major in engineering. He wasn't expected to commit at the first Junior Day, but ended up giving his commitment towhen offered, becoming one of 13 Longhorns to give their verbal pledge on the day.
I sat down with my family, discussed it with my position coach. I told him how I can run track with the their program, the have a good engineering school. I feel I can excel in both sports and also in the classroom as well. I just decided it was the perfect school for me.
I honestly didn't know I was going to commit, but after sitting there talking about it, I decided I wanted to.
On the stress involved in the recruiting process:
It's a huge relief. I was getting mail every day. Every day. Now I can sit back and relax a little.
On why he chose Texas:
The biggest selling point, it's a great football program, a great track program, a great school as far as academics. That's what I need. I'm looking forward to getting up there and playing.
I'm honored to be a part of it. I can't wait to go out there and win some bowl games. I'm honored to be a part of the family.
- Texas (committed 2/13/2010)
- Texas Tech
The positives from Jeff Howe ($):
In terms of pure speed I can’t think of anyone I’ve seen who is as fast as Evans. There was a play on his highlight tape where he got sucked up to about linebacker depth because of a play fake, but he somehow managed to stick his foot in the ground, turn on a dime and not only catch the receiver from behind after a pass completion 35 to 40 yards down the field but he forced a fumble which Dulles recovered. Its plays like that when he shows how special of a playmaker he can be for a defense.
I also really like his ball skills. He started out his high school career as a wide receiver before playing some running back and he still doubles on offense quite a bit for Dulles. Guys who handle the ball that much (i.e. Bryant Jackson in the 2010 class) on offense are more often than not the best playmakers in terms of finishing plays in the secondary.
Evans shows he’s more than just a track guy playing football because of his physicality at the safety position. It’s not just filling the alley either because he’s shown he can play in the box a little bit as a rover type guy and shows good form on ball carriers around the line of scrimmage and brings some pop with his pads. He’s also a solid tackler in the open field.
Everything he brings to the table including his size (6-1, 185) is going to allow him to be able to play a number of positions at Texas. I like him for either safety spot and eventually he can be a corner, but the key is his versatility which has become in key in recent years when Duane Akina and Will Muschamp have recruited defensive backs.
ESPN evaluation ($):
There is no doubt about the fact that Evans is a great athlete with excellent speed, the question on where he plays is a good debate. A tall, lean and high-cut safety lacking great physicality in the box and transitional skills if employed truly at corner. Still is a scheme versatile defensive back with great body length, range and ball skills. Supreme blend of speed and athleticism. Covers a lot of ground on both run and pass support with direct angles to the ball. Flashes great acceleration and long-speed. Capable of tracking ball carriers down when out of position. Shows good deep coverage awareness skills and will go up and get the football. Can get off the hash and certainly cover his half of the field as a deep Cover 2 defender. Overall is fluid through the hips and quick out of his breaks. However, when employed in the box he tends to lunge as a tackler and while he diagnosis quickly and pursues with sharp angles running the alley, he doesn't bring the wood like you want to see and lacks great physicality at the point of attack. Could have trouble getting over the trash at the next level and holding is base in the box. Overall, Evans is one of the faster defensive backs in this class and will likely start his career off at corner; will need some technique polish but his height and speed on the perimeter is coveted.
- World-class speed: How much else is there to really say about this? Just look at his track times.
- Athleticism: Despite his height, Evans is a fluid enough athlete that playing cornerback shouldn't be a stretch for him.
- Ball skills: Evans can go up and fight for the football, a skill that will serve him well in college whether he plays cornerback or safety. His experience on the offensive side of the ball, particularly at wide receiver, helps him in this regard.
- Potential: Not to get all Jay Bilas-y here, but Evans has all the potential in the world to become a dominant defensive back at Texas, it's just a matter of taking advantage of his talent.
Sheroid Evans Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)
- Experience: Much like Mykkele Thompson, the Texas coaches want Evans to play a position at which he has little experience.
- Strength: If Manny Diaz ends up wanting his corners to play in press coverage, Evans may need some time in the weight room to add strength before he can contribute.
- On-field production: The biggest knock on Evans is that he hasn't always made as many plays as his athleticism would suggest he is capable of making.
Target weight: 195 pounds. Evans is still a lanky guy and may not yet have the functional strength to survive the grind of a college football season. Getting stronger should help him remain durable and become a better tackler.
Track stars don't always work out on the football field, but there is enough evidence to suggest that Evans is more than just a speed guy with pads on to lessen those concerns. And considering that he has, once again, world-class speed, offering him was basically a no-brainer. Duana Akine is regarded in the industry as one of the top molders of defensive back talent and helped turnfrom essentially a track star to a Thorpe Award winner and a physical football player.
So while there's a chance that Evans won't fulfill his potential, it's no more than any other player coming out of high school. In fact, given his unbelievable speed, it's much less than other players and really the worst-case scenario is that he becomes a safety with the speed to always have an angle on virtually anyone in the country. Best-case scenario is that he becomes a lock-down corner and a first-round type when the NFL draft comes calling. Basically, the kid's ceiling is unbelievably high.
Impact ETA: 2012. This is starting to sound like a broken record, but the major reason that Evans probably won't see the field much in 2011 is exactly the same as Mykkele Thompson -- he has to learn the technique for the position almost from scratch and that's a major impediment to contributing early. However, he's just too fast to keep him off the field for long, so 2012 is the target year for him.