The Texas Longhorns have consistently featured some of the fastest players in college football over the last several years thanks to speedsters Marquise Goodwin and DJ Monroe, now both departed, who ranked third and seventh on the list of fastest players put out last year by HeismanPundit.com. This year, the lone holdover for the 'Horns is junior cornerback Sheroid Evans, who dropped from fifth last year to seventh this year.
Why the drop? Well, Evans certainly hasn't gotten slower, but college football has added two freshmen this year who have run better 100m times than Evans, whose specialty was more in the 200m and 400m in high school, though his 10.39 100m time is good enough to put him among the fastest players in college football in that event, too. The new additions are Baylor cornerback Kyle Fulks, who has run a 10.38 and LSU cornerback Jeryl Brazil, clocked at 10.36.
Why does it really matter? Don't Texas fans already know all about Evans and his elite speed? Well, sure, but the list further illustrates just how fast Evans is when compared with his peers across college football -- and the answer is really fast. With improving technique as a result of his spring focus on football instead of track, Evans looks poised for a breakout season, as long as he can stay healthy, as nagging injuries slowed him during his first two seasons.
With star junior cornerback Quandre Diggs most likely spending most of his time in the nickel, Evans is the likely replacement at the vacated field corner spot occupied by Diggs so capably over the last two seasons. Likewise, sophomore Duke Thomas splitting time at cornerback and wide receiver further opens the door for Evans to assume the starting role, as he did in the spring game, when he nearly returned a Case McCoy arm punt for a touchdown, flashing that trademark speed down the sideline.
Look for Evans to increase his tackle numbers exponentially and perhaps even record his first live interception -- the skills have always been there and with half of his eligibility exhausted it's time for Evans to start putting it together.
One potential omission from the list? New DBU addition Antwuan Davis, the incoming freshman who ran a 10.39 this spring as well, though it may not have been FAT, as the list requires. In any case, 10.39 is a faster time than the last two members of the list and his 200m time better than the latter, as well. Furthermore, Davis wasn't even listed as an honorable mention. The travesty of all travesties!
One thing that makes DBU the factory that it is, though? Speed. Pure speed, and lots of it. When kids have that, all it takes is some molding and the players stepping up to claim next. It will probably take a little time with Davis, but the time for Sheroid Evans is now.