Zachary Evans, No. 1 RB in country, signs with TCU to end wild recruitment

Yahoo Sports

One of the stranger recruiting tales in recent memory has come to a close. 

Zachary Evans, the No. 1 running back in the class of 2020 according to Rivals.com, has signed a financial aid agreement to attend TCU, multiple outlets reported. Evans, ranked No. 13 overall in the country by Rivals, is the first five-star recruit to ever sign to play for the Horned Frogs. 

Evans’ path to TCU was certainly a winding one. TCU wasn’t even in the mix in Evans’ recruitment until recently. Before ultimately picking the Horned Frogs, Evans, a Houston native, was connected to schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida, among others. 

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Evans signed with Georgia, but was released from his NLI

Evans would go on to sign with Georgia during the early signing period in December — a decision he did not divulge publicly. Evans, who ran into some off-field trouble during his time at North Shore High School (including a suspension for the state championship game), planned to reveal his choice live on ESPN during the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2. Instead, he issued an apology, saying he “made some stupid decisions” and that he was “ready to compete at the next level.”

Less than a week later, Georgia released Evans from his national letter of intent and the five-star was officially back on the market. Evans officially visited Ole Miss and Tennessee and had a visit to Florida on deck before the coronavirus pandemic limited travel. 

Eventually, Evans decided to stay in the state of Texas and chose to play for Gary Patterson. According to Rivals.com, Evans signed his paperwork and formally enrolled in online classes at TCU on Monday. Should the 2020 season happen as scheduled, Evans could have an instant impact for the Horned Frogs.

"At the end of the day, I wanted to stay closer to home so that my grandmother could see me play," Evans told Rivals. "I have a great opportunity to come in and help the team play early. I think TCU can help me get to the next level and get a great education. They had two first-round picks in the NFL draft this year."

The winding recruitment of running back Zachary Evans ended with Evans signing to attend TCU. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The winding recruitment of running back Zachary Evans ended with Evans signing to attend TCU. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 6-foot, 195-pound Evans rushed for 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns while averaging 12.6 yards per touch as a senior. Rivals described Evans as a “generational talent” with “rare vision” who is “an absolute horror” in the open field. 

Evans is one of the more uniquely gifted running back prospects and a generational type of talent for the position. He's a true freak at a position that is slowly becoming undervalued and picked TCU partly because of the opportunity to showcase his skill-set in a prolific offense, but also catch passes out of the backfield and show off his versatility.

Evans possesses rare vision to see running lanes open up often before his blockers can pave the way for him. He has the speed to bounce runs outside or the short-area quickness to cut runs back inside and explode through them for big chunk gains or more than likely hit pay dirt. Evans pairs that vision and instincts with the ability to be both slippery and physical, to run through would-be tacklers or evade them in space and also hit his second gear running.

The addition of Evans puts TCU at No. 24 nationally in Rivals’ team rankings for the class of 2020. In the Big 12, TCU ranks behind only Texas (No. 13) and Oklahoma (No. 15). TCU has 19 commits overall, including six four-star prospects and three of the top 15 recruits in the state of Texas.

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