The spring evaluation period has produced plenty of new targets for the Texas Longhorns and a handful of new offers, including one that went out on Friday evening to Dallas Skyline defensive end Victor Evans.
A rather midlevel three-star prospect by 247Sports with a grade of 83, Evans goes about 6'3 and 220 pounds and holds offers from Colorado, SMU, Texas Tech, and Tulsa. In one sense, the offer comes at a good time for the Longhorns to enter his recruitment -- there isn't a lot competition there for Evans right now, but it's also a bit surprising in that regard as well.
With a commitment from Sione Teuhema looking likely in the next several weeks, Texas is clearly in the market for at least two more weakside defensive ends in this class to pair with San Antonio Brennan's Derick Roberson. Abilene's Jake McMillon looks like a swing guy in the future and the 'Horns would take a commitment from Solomon Thomas at any point without hesitation.
What is it that the staff sees in Evans?
At the Dallas NFTC, he was excellent in a couple of high-profile reps late in one-on-ones against Texas A&M commit Kealvin Davis. On the first, Evans used a speed-to-power stab move and put Davis on his backside with one hand, impressively winning the second as well. It was an exchange on a pretty big stage that left Davis visibly shaken afterward.
During that event, Evans ran a 4.96 40 that doesn't seem truly indicative of his overall athleticism -- his vertical that same day was 36 inches. Physically, he's impressive, built rather like 2013 Houston signee Tyus Bowser. After spending a year or so in a college weight program, Evans should be a chiseled 235 pounds.
On film, there are some impressive moments. Against the run he comes off the ball with good level and clear lower-body strength, with the athleticism to open up and run. His strength is evident in reaching out and grabbing a running back headed for the corner and tossing him to the ground one-handed, with merely a grasp of jersey and perhaps a bit of shoulder pad.
Another unfortunate opponent, a scrambling quarterback, got clotheslined as Evans pursued a play all the way across the field when he saw his opponent vacate the pocket to the other side of the field.
Despite those moments, he's the type of player whose film leaves one wanting just a little bit more, like a run-the-arc sack.
He seems like the type of player who possesses significant untapped ability, it's just a question of if or when the light comes on. Unfortunately, for an even more gifted athlete like Reggie Wilson, the former five-star prospect ranked ahead of Jackson Jeffcoat, the light still hasn't come on entering his senior season.
But on the whole, defensive end coach Oscar Giles deserves the benefit of the doubt for his work evaluating and developing defensive ends at Texas, as his track record is pretty sterling overall. If he thinks Evans can be a player, he's more likely to be right than not.
It seems as if Evans might be a risk that the Texas coaches are wiling to take after failing to land a true defensive end in the 2013 class. There may be some danger of a low floor, but the upside for Evans seems apparent.