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The Zach Evans recruiting timeline and what it means for Georgia football
Zach Evans is still a publicly uncommitted prospect. He is the nation’s No. 1 running back prospect and the No. 14 overall prospect. It was widely expected that he would announce he was committed to Georgia and enroll.
But that still has not happened, as Evans called off his decision prior to his scheduled Jan. 2 announcement. It was the latest turn ina recruitment that has been full of them. Below is a timeline of Georgia’s recruitment of Evans dating back to this summer as well as a look ahead to what comes next for both Georgia and Evans.
May 28: Evans announces his top five of Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Missing from his list of finalists are Texas and Texas A&M. At that point in time, Ohio State had not even gotten a visit from Evans, while he had made multiple trips to Texas and Texas A&M.
July 26-28: Evans takes an unofficial visit to Georgia. This is his most recent trip to Georgia. Also in town this weekend are the likes of fellow 5-star prospects Darnell Washington and Kelee Ringo. Those two would both end up picking Georgia, as both prospects announced they had signed with Georgia this past week.
— Zach Evans (@Runzekerun01) July 29, 2019
July 29: Kendall Milton commits to Georgia. In speaking with DawgNation, he makes it clear Georgia is very much looking to bring in a second running back. Milton mentions Evans and 4-star running back Tank Bigsby as possible running mates.
“I plan on playing with another great back,” Milton said. “So [I’m] going after Zach. Going after Tank. Trying to put together this all-star team to make the competition a little bit easier.”
But Milton made it very clear that he would understand if Evans and Bigbsy end up going elsewhere.
“What’s best for me might not be what’s best for Tank or what’s best for Zach,” Milton said. “At the end of the day, whatever is their best decision – whatever God wants them to be – then they should take that opportunity. But if that’s Georgia, then both of them — Tank and Zach — they both have similar running styles. Both built backs. Playing with one of those backs, it wouldn’t be any sort of a dropoff if we were playing together. It would sort of be a one-two punch type of thing.”
Aug. 7: Tank Bigsby commits to Auburn. When speaking with DawgNation this week, Bigbsy explained why he ended up picking the Tigers, despite being from the state of Georgia.
“Loyalty is a big thing to me. They were real with me,” Bigsby said. “Same relationship from the get go.”
With Bigsby, along with Marshawn Lloyd off the board, Georgia’s top target at the position becomes Evans to pair with Milton.
Sept. 5: Was set to announce his commitment to honor his grandparent, but ultimately backed off this pledge.
Sept. 20: Evans tweets out that he has decided his future plans.
I’ve decided 💯
— Zach Evans (@Runzekerun01) September 20, 2019
Oct. 26: Evans takes his official visit to LSU.
Nov. 15: Evans takes his official visit to Texas A&M.
Dec. 3: Evans delays his commitment, pushing it back until the Under Armour All-American game. He had said that he was going to announce on Dec. 4, which was during North Shore’s playoff run. To this point in his recruitment, the only official visits he has taken are to LSU and Texas A&M.
Dec. 14: Evans misses the first half of a state semifinal game in Texas as he had to take the ACT the morning of the game.
Dec. 19: According to Evans at the Under Armour All-American game, this is when the 5-star running back signed his letter of intent and sent it in.
Dec. 21: Evans is suspended for the state title game as North Shore was set to take on Duncanville. The incident allegedly has to deal with Evans not giving up his cell phone the night before the game. This is the second time this season Evans has been suspended, as he missed two games earlier in the season for a violation of team rules.
Dec. 28: Evans meets with reporters at media day in the run-up to the Under Armour All-American Game. He tells reporters that he has signed, he intends to enroll early and that his finalists are Georgia, Alabama and LSU.
Evans also praises Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee and tells DawgNation that he knew his decision in early August, which would’ve been just after his unofficial visit to Georgia.
“They have never shown any love lost,” Evans said. “That’s how I feel. I feel like coach [Dell] McGee has never put me in the dirt like ‘Oh, I am going to stop talking to you or something’ and he always kept me around the loose and let me know what was up. Lacing me up. Just keep me on the right track. Checking on me and stuff like that.”
Evans the position coach that he will go play for has a history of putting players into the league, including a former member of that program who went on to win a Super Bowl in his rookie season. Former Georgia running back Sony Michel did that just last year, as he scored New England’s only touchdown in the 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Fellow Georgia signee Chad Lindberg also vouches for Evans, calling him the best running back in the country and someone who is capable of winning multiple Heisman Trophies.
Jan. 2: Evans decides he will not be announcing his college decision during the fourth quarter of the Under Armour All-American Game. During the game, Evans gives an interview with ESPN2 in where he publicly apologizes to his future coach.
“First and foremost, I just want to apologize to my college coaches, for everything they are hearing,” Evans said. “I am really a good kid. I came in and learned from some former professionals. I made some stupid decisions and I am ready to compete at the next level.”
After the game, Evans tells reporters that he had sent in a letter of intent but does not disclose to which school. He added that he had spoken to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart but did not give a specific date. He did take the time to once again praise McGee as well as Georgia’s performance in the Sugar Bowl.
That same night, Evans wins MVP for the game, displaying why many consider him to be the No. 1 running back in the country.
Reservations for SIX!
— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) January 3, 2020
At the moment/what comes next: The expectation is that Evans will not be in the class, as DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell can report. If Evans did sign in send in his letter of intent, which he said he had back on Dec. 28, Georgia would have to release him from the letter of intent in order from him to communicate with other schools. Other schools cannot contact Evans so long as he is bound to his LOI to Georgia.
If Evans is released from his letter of intent, he would have to wait until Feb. 5 to potentially sign with another school.
As for what’s next for Georgia at the running back position, the Bulldogs still only have Milton in the class. He actually skipped the All-American Bowl to enroll at Georgia.
A few of the early enrolled athletes… They are official BULLDOGS with id's in hand…. pic.twitter.com/G9MQVOdWXo
— Chris Milton (@fatherofballers) January 6, 2020
At the moment Georgia is only set to have four scholarship running backs in 2020, as Milton will join Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh. It would be the first time under Smart that Georgia does not have five scholarship running backs.
There are two in-state 2020 running back prospects who are unsigned, though both Jahmyr Gibbs and Daijun Edwards are both trending towards other schools.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football podcast: The latest rumblings regarding 5-star RB Zach Evans
- WATCH Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean: ‘Every night is a big night’
- Georgia football cornerback Eric Stokes announces decision on future
- Jake Fromm: What we’re hearing on his upcoming UGA or NFL decision
- Triggered: Jake Fromm NFL decision could be determined by Tua Tagovailoa Alabama announcement
- With Richard LeCounte returning, Kirby Smart might have his best secondary yet
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