“LD, the wide receivers coach that is there now, my family and I have a good relationship with him,” Evans said. “But it just not the same as Gundy. It is not the same as talking to another assistant as your main coach. I talked to Gundy every day. Every single day. He built that relationship with us and now that he’s gone it is like just ‘Wow’ for me with Oklahoma.”
It is unlikely that any school could maintain its connection to a recruit in the wake of something like that, but his thoughts on Oklahoma are different and layered.
He feels Oklahoma’s offense would give him the best chance to shine.
“All you have to do is just look up stats and look at what they actually do and how I would be used,” Evans III said.
The Sooners have built a network of relationships around him. He knows like “20 coaches” well in Norman.
“It was not just that relationship with Gundy,” Evans said. “I had, well I do still have, the whole coaching staff at Oklahoma. So that really doesn’t hurt me [with Oklahoma] that much. But really at the same time, it does.”
Evans said mainly talks to receivers coach Bryan McClendon, offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Kirby Smart at Georgia. He felt that if he knew the entire staff at UGA the way he does at Oklahoma, then this recruiting race wouldn’t be as contested as it is now.
He said the Gundy news was “shocking” and found out when those reports hit the media. His folks called him downstairs. It was late. He actually thought he was in trouble.
“They were like ‘Gundy resigned’ and my heart dropped,” Evans said. “Gundy? I was like ‘Wow’ again and that really hurt. It really hurts. That was like my position coach.”
He’s spoken to OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby and head coach Brent Venables about it. He was hoping to garner some sort of insight about who would take over that role.
It would be helpful to know here with a decision coming up on Aug. 26.
“There’s not a lot to tell me but I feel like I have an idea of who it is going to be,” Evans said. “If I am right, then shoot I don’t know it might be some good news for OU fans. But I really don’t know who it is. I really don’t know. I’m just talking about that. I’m not going to lie.”
There really is a seven-layer cake of intrigue to this one.
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Anthony Evans III: That “home” feeling from Georgia football
The Bulldogs have not forged the numerous staff ties to Evans that the Sooners have.
But they do have family ties to the program. Former Georgia QB Quincy Carter has been a trainer and mentor to Evans, but that’s not the half of it.
When he got the offer to play for the ‘Dawgs, he needed a minute. He asked receivers coach Bryan McClendon to repeat that for his Mom. Isabeal Adams Evans proceeded to jump as her son does over a long jump pit.
While they live out in Texas, she is from Savannah. His father favors the Longhorns out that way, but she is a life-long Georgia fan. That offer on the second day of April was big.
His family joined him on his UGA official back in June.
“It was my mom, she’s from Georgia, so she loved it,” Evans said. “It was my Dad. It was his first time going up to Athens. He enjoyed it as well. My grandma came. She’s from Georgia. She enjoyed it as well. She already knew what to expect.”
“My uncle was there. He’s a big Georgia fan so he knew what it was already and yeah, that was it.”
The 4-star WR said that his mother and grandmother are also big Georgia fans.
Those three coaches that do the recruiting for UGA to Evans are heavy hitters. McClendon is the point man.
“I love BMac and I love coach Monken,” Evans III said. “Those are my guys.”
Why would he choose Georgia?
“Really because of the city of Atlanta and coach Monken and his resume and BMac and his resume,” Evans III said. “When I went up to Georgia, it felt like home. Don’t care what you do with that. You can quote that. I already told all the coaches at other universities that. When I went to Georgia, it felt like home. Because like I said, I’ve got family there as well. The players really made it feel like home as well.”
Despite how much she loves the ‘Dawgs, his Mom is “being a mother” right now.
“She’s telling me to do what is best for me,” Evans III said. “Not anybody else. Not what is best for her and my Dad.”
The ‘Dawgs have seen their chances improve, but he still doesn’t have a firm grasp on it right now.
“Really that [Gundy] stuff made it tough for me,” he said. “I really just don’t know now. Not saying that I did know at first. I was just talking to my parents about it. We talk about it every day. I will be honest. I will wake up one day and say ‘Mom and Dad I’m going to OU’ and the next morning I will wake up and tell them ‘Mom and Dad. Dang. We going to Georgia’ and it is just one of those things. It is really hard to tell.”
“And then there’s A&M. I love Texas A&M as well. It is close to home. A lot of people think it is a two-man race but I ain’t going to lie. Ya’ll and everyone do not need to sleep on A&M. I love A&M.”
Speed merchant WR Anthony Evans III was once committed to Arkansas. He is now seriously considering UGA. (Courtesy photo)
A&M, OU and UGA: How will Anthony Evans III figure it out?
Former Georgia receivers coach and offensive coordinator James Coley also recruits him for the Aggies. He’s a point contact along with quarterbacks coach Dameyune Craig. Craig recruited him last year, but Coley energized the push for the Aggies in the spring.
How is he going to figure all of this out? Will location matter?
Oklahoma and Texas A&M are much closer than Athens. And yet he has family in Savannah.
“I’ve got family in Georgia,” he said. “I’m six hours away from my house if I go to Oklahoma. The family and location part really doesn’t change anything. My family retired from the military. So I believe wherever I go, they will follow. If I go to Georgia, they will move to Georgia.”
“If I go to Oklahoma, then there’s no point in moving. They are still five or six hours away. I can come home after a Friday practice, spend the weekend with the family and go back that Sunday night. That’s not something that will affect me from going to any of the schools. And then there’s A&M. A&M is like two hours away. So that is nothing.”
As stated previously, he’s most excited by the chance to play in the Oklahoma system.
“I feel like I would be amazing in that OU offense but Georgia is just, man, I just love the University of Georgia all around,” Evans III said. “I love the University of Oklahoma and I love A&M. At this moment, I can’t choose.”
This is so close.
“There ain’t nobody leading, man,” Evans III said. “It is crazy. I mean I love Georgia. I love A&M. I love Oklahoma. But Gundy leaving that kind of affected Oklahoma a little bit. But at the same time like I said, who knows who they will bring in? If they keep ‘LD’ then I love ‘LD’ and his story is amazing. I don’t know if you have heard his story, but it is amazing. He comes from nothing and he will pour his whole heart into me and he’s a great dude.”
He feels “LD” getting the full-time job will be a wait-and-see thing.
“He’s a great dude,” Evans III said. “We love him personally. My parents do. On and off the field. I just don’t really know much about him like I knew Gundy. As I said, Gundy and I talked every day. Now with Coach Washington [LD] he and I talked every once in a while but it was not like I was talking to him every day. That’s something I’ll have to figure out. I’m building an even bigger relationship with him right now. I will say we did have a good relationship at first, but now it has got to be something more than just talking every now and then. It has to get to be where Gundy left off.”
It is an unknown to him with the Sooners.
“They were trying to figure it out by the end of the week,” Evans said on Sunday. “But obviously you see that nothing has been put out. They are saying they are going to keep ‘LD’ for the year. So that’s for the year. I don’t know who I am going to be coached by when I arrive on campus in January.”
If his heart leads him to Oklahoma, he said it will be due to his relationship with the entire staff. He heard from “all 20 of them” when the Gundy news broke.
“They all called me the very next day,” he said.
That helps to offset the void left by that departure.
“Oklahoma and Oklahoma City and everything on my OV was just different,” he said. “It was my first one. They really set the standard. Then like I said, the scheme as well. I feel like I can go there and really excel in that scheme. The same thing with Georgia, but I feel like I would excel much more in Oklahoma’s scheme. I feel like I would play at the same time at both schools. It will all just be up to me. The room at Georgia sets up for me in that slot position. If I go there, I’m going to play slot.”
“And if I go there, you will see me on that field as a freshman. No cocky stuff. I just believe in myself. The room is just not too big. I believe I can go there and make an impact. The same thing at Oklahoma. If I go to Oklahoma, I will play inside and outside.”
What was his best official?
“That was definitely Texas A&M,” he said.
If he chooses to play for the Aggies, he said the biggest reason would be James Coley.
“Definitely Coach Coley,” he said. “I love coach Coley. I went there and they made it feel like family up there. When I went there, it was two days before my birthday and they did like the little things. They got me a cake and all that. They went all out for me.”
He will run track at each of these schools. He also remarked he has a solid relationship with the track coach in College Station. He also knows the track coach at Oklahoma, but not at Georgia.
It is no wonder this young man sounds torn.
“See what I am saying,” he said. “This stuff is crazy. It is actually like hard for me. Not as easy as people think. But all of this is a blessing for me at the same time.”
4-star Texas WR Anthony Evans III was a very big official visitor for UGA in June of 2023. (Courtesy photo)
Anthony Evans III: The next steps and a final plus for the ‘Dawgs
As stated earlier, he will decide on August 26. There’s no big compelling reason for that.
“I play my first game on the 27th so I just want to lock into a school and focus on the year,” he said. “My high school career has been tough. My head coach got fired in week seven last year. I haven’t won a playoff game since I have been in high school. I will be honest with all these coaches texting me every day there’s just a lot of extra stress added on to what I really need to be focused on for my senior year.”
“So on August 26, I will really be shutting it down on this stuff for me personally so I can focus on my team and this season. That’s what I need to place my focus on. My team needs to have a great year. I need to have a great year because last year we were like 4-6 and the head coach got fired like midseason. With me being a leader of the team and with all the offers, I feel like that’s on me and it is my responsibility to get all that taken care of and focus on what we need to do. I’m a face of the city and my team going 4-6 last year is not okay.”
He said very succinctly that name, image and likeness will not be a primary influence. He tries not to pay attention to that but realizes it is a part of the recruiting game now.
“I’m going to play football,” he said. “I’m not worried about these thousands of dollars. I’m worried about the millions in the NFL. That’s what I am going to be paid to do. I am going to be an NFL player. Not a NIL player.”
There was one final thing he shared about the ‘Dawgs. Evans recalled a conversation he had with his Dad while they were discussing the 2021 national champions.
He knows about the defensive backs and 5-stars that the Bulldogs line up on their defense.
“What’s actually crazy is my Dad and I talked about that a few days ago,” Evans III said. “He was telling me ‘Bro you can go against the best of the best at Georgia every single day. All those 5-stars that get recruited to Georgia? Every single year at corner’ and said ‘They will push you to get better even if you don’t see the field for your first one or two years. But by that third year, you will be polished up without even playing one down on a Saturday night’ and I get it. I’d be practicing against the best of the best. Georgia is going to have a great defense every year. That’s just facts. There’s nothing nobody else can do about it.”
“Me going against them in practice will make me an even better receiver at the same time. That’s a big factor for me. That definitely plays a factor.”
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