For years now the Texas Longhorns have evaluated and considered junior college quarterbacks, but haven't ever gotten any to campus despite the need at the position. Will the 2016 class finally mark a change there?
It's possible, as Orangebloods is teasing contact between the Horns and Trinity Valley CC star Jerod Evans, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining and will be a December graduate.
The 6'5, 225-pounder is ranked as a four-star prospect by Scout and currently holds offers from Cal and Memphis, but that should change in the near future, as numerous schools, including Auburn and Oregon, are currently evaluating the Mansfield product.
Despite starting for two years at Mansfield and putting up solid numbers, Evans flew under the radar as a recruit and eventually enrolled at Air Force over North Texas.
Now he holds offers from Cal and UAB after an incredible season at Trinity Valley that saw the Cardinals score 63 points against Arkansas Baptist College and 94 points against Texas A&T. In all, Evans threw for 3,164 yards and 38 touchdowns with only three interceptions. His interception rate of 1.04% is exceptional and his combination of a 62.4% completion percentage and 11.4 yards per attempt speaks to his ability to consistently create big plays in the passing game.
Evans possesses the big arm one would expect from a quarterback with his size, as he shows the ability to hit virtually every part of the field. On deep balls especially, the ball comes out with timing and anticipation and several long throws are particularly notable for his ability to drive the football down field on the run.
A true dual-threat quarterback with prototypical size for the position, Evans added 414 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Check out his elusivenss and lateral quickness on this run -- that's some extremely high-level stuff that someone who weighs 225 pounds shouldn't be able to accomplish.
Because of his size, solid speed, and change-of-direction ability, he could be equally effective in college running Quarterback Power/Counter or taking the edge on sweeps. And his sturdy build means that he would have fewer durability concerns, unlike current starter Jerrod Heard.
A few things to note about Evans -- he doesn't appear to advance past his first progression on the majority of his throws and is prone to taking off quickly, which may well be a coaching point similar to the instructions given to Heard this year if his initial target isn't open. And he also has some mechanical deficiencies with his footwork, as he doesn't always step in the direction of his target, which reduces the velocity of his passes in those instances, and he has a habit of drifting backwards on touch passes.
On the positive side, he does demonstrate that he can scramble to avoid pressure and keep his eyes downfield to make plays at the 2:50 mark and 3:10 mark of his highlights below.
Texas already holds a commitment from one 2016 quarterback in Arlington Lamar's Shane Buechele and will likely get Ohio State commit Tristen Wallace on campus for an official visit. The case for offering Evans is that he's a better athlete than Buechele with more prototypical size and even though the Longhorns pledge is a polished passer for his age, the experience of Evans could give him the edge in terms of making an early impact.
Heard's struggles in the passing game have raised concerns about whether he's the long-term answer at the position and with several projects currently on campus, it's not inconceivable that Evans could win the job in the spring if he ends up choosing Texas.
But that moment is still well off in the future if it even comes to pass at all, as the Horns still have to offer Evans and would likely have to hold off some national powers for services if his recruitment follows the expected trajectory over the next month.