Highly-coveted Houston North Shore running back Zachary Evans, the nation’s top-ranked overall recruit, released a list featuring his top five programs on Tuesday evening, and the Texas Longhorns fairly surprisingly find themselves on the outside looking in.
Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are the final five teams fighting for Evans’ services, he announced on Twitter.
A long-time priority prospect for Texas head coach Tom Herman, associate head coach and running backs coach Stan Drayton, and to an extent, the entire Longhorns staff, Evans received an offer from the Horns in-person prior to his sophomore season, and has remained a high-priority prospect ever since. Evans reciprocated that interest, making numerous trips to the Forty Acres throughout the 2018 calendar year, and returning this offseason. Unsurprisingly, the Longhorns were considered a team in a prime position to land a prospect on pace to headline the entire 2020 class, per the 247Sports Composite, but, at least for the moment, that’s certainly not the case.
“It’s just … you don’t know how to put it,” Evans told 247Sports’ Chris Hummer of his decision to exclude the Longhorns from his top list. “I don’t want to be disrespectful. I ain’t saying (Texas) can’t win a natty. It’s just at the moment [Texas is] not quite there. You beat Georgia but you barely beat Georgia. What about when it comes to a Bama or go to a Clemson?
”Texas is a good school, they coming up,” Evans added. “It’s just ... I don’t know.”
Now on the outside looking in with Evans, who was among Texas’ most important targets in recent memory, where do the Longhorns go from here?
With Evans excluding the Horns from his latest list, that now adds for concern with North Shore offensive tackle Dameion George, as the two are set on becoming a package deal.
Furthermore, as far as the running back position is concerned, the Longhorns have yet to lock in their first legit running back prospect, but the staff will continue to pursue coveted prospects at the position like five-star Oklahoma commit Jase McClellan, five-star Arizona product Bijan Robinson, four-star Washington product Sam Adams II, and electric all-purpose back Ty Jordan.
Evans is aiming to announce his commitment on National Signing Day, so Texas certainly has plenty of time to re-establish a role in Evans should he leave that door open, but to that end, it appears Evans may alright have his sights set on heading southeast.
“It just really comes with the competition,” Evans told Hummer. “They say the SEC is like the NFL, so I’m trying to be down pat.”