In his weekly recruiting column, Hawgs Illustrated's Dudley E. Dawson chats with San Marcos (CA) Palomar CC defensive end Caleb Evans (6-4, 255, 4.61), who could be a Razorback commit very soon.
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It seems very clear that the University of Arkansas will soon add another 2010 commitment to its football recruiting list.
Well, that’s if he is not actually a 2009 when all is said and done.
San Marcos (CA) Palomar Community College defensive end Caleb Evans (6-4, 255, 4.61) is all set to commit to the Razorbacks when he makes a visit to the UA campus in the near future.
“I have been in contact with the Arkansas coaches and we are getting my visit set up right now,” Evans said. “We both want it to be as soon as possible. I want to get out there, look everything over and go ahead and commit.
“I feel like it is what I am looking for in a school,” Evans continued. “It is an SEC school with a great future, I think they have a great coaching staff that can help me get to the NFL, they have that great quarterback (Ryan Mallett) from Michigan coming in this year and I will have a friend out there in (UA 2009 signee) Britton Forester, who is an excellent punter and can really kick the ball.
“I haven’t given Arkansas a verbal commitment yet, but really all I am waiting on is that visit,” Evans said. “Britton said that town is awesome, the school is awesome, the coaches really push you and the whole state is made up of fans who are supporting you all the time.”
Evan just happens to be from Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino’s hometown of Helana, Mont., but also spent time in Tennessee and California before returning to Helena to finish high school.
He was a preseason second team Junior College All-American selection last season and had narrowed his decision down to Oregon and Tennessee before suffering a herniated disc in his back in July.
“I was either going to go to Oregon – the Ducks – or to Tennessee,” Evans said. “I missed the season because of the injury, but got cleared in July and am 100 percent and ready to go now. It’s gets a little sore now and then, but that’s to be expected.”
His preseason honor came after a freshman season at Palomar in which he had led the team in tackles for lost yardage (11 for 42), sacks (6 for 44) and quarterback hurries (8).
He did so as just a 200-pound defensive end.
“I have put on 50 pounds since I last played in a game in 2007 and have kept my quickness,” Evans said. “I ran a 4.61 recently at 250 pounds. I had a great year as a pass rusher as a freshman and think the muscle and weight I have added will make me even better against the run now.”
It doesn’t hurt that Evans goes against an NFL prospect in practice in Brice Schwab (6-8, 320), who just committed to USC back on April 18.
“I can’t see how there would be a bigger or better offensive lineman anywhere to go against and make you game better,” Evans said. “I have never seen anything like him. He has the NFL numbers and that is definitely where he will end up playing.”
He also sees quick 6-1, 300-pound offensive guard Sam Tapua in his grill a lot.
“Sam moves as fast for his size as anybody you will ever see,” Evans said. “To go up against him and Brice and fight off their double teams, I’m getting great experience.”
Arkansas offensive line coach Mike Summers has been the lead recruiter on Evans.
“I really like him and he seems like a great guy,” Evans said. “He got my film, called my coach and said they were very interested in me. It has moved to the point now of just getting out there and getting it done.”
The fact that Razorback defensive coordinator Willy Robinson has an NFL background also has factored into Evans’ decision–making process.
“He has been in the NFL with the (St. Louis) Rams, knows what it takes to get there and will push me to be my best,” Evans said. “That and the fact the opportunity to play when I get there makes me all about Arkansas right now.”
He also has offers from Kansas and Kansas State, continued interest from Tennessee and new interest from LSU.
“They changed staffs at Tennessee so that’s a whole different thing now,” Evans said. “LSU called my coach the other day and said they wanted in on me, but I am all sold on Arkansas as the place I need to be.”
While he is currently a 2010 prospect, there is a chance he could end up as a 2009 one, but it would involve taking a lot of summer classes.
It is the difference in having two years or three years to play at a Division I school.
“Arkansas coaches are looking into that to see what it would take, but I think most likely I will be playing here at Palomar next year and then coming to Arkansas.”