Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
We’re past the 50 day mark, and this Friday marks 49 days until kick-off against North Dakota State University. With 49 days left to go, we look at one of the most overlooked stories going into 2013 – the 49 solo tackles Randall Evans made in 2012.
To some readers, 49 solo means a lot. It doesn’t register on others’ radars. So here’s some perspective: the only two players to record more last year were Arthur Brown and Jarard Milo. The Jug has been beating the drum this summer that there’s more talent returning to this defense than the media is giving credit, and this is just one more example. Evans is a superb talent and contributed 76 tackles total last year, including three for a loss as well as a sack and interception.
Stepping into the primary cornerback role, Evans will be pressed to step up while defending the #1 receiver this year. That means more tackles and interceptions (although less freedom to pursue quarterbacks on blitzes) this year. He also had two forced fumbles and one recovery, demonstrating how overlooked Evans is.
There are several reasons the media hasn’t pointed Evans out as a significant returning piece of the defensive puzzle. Not highly recruited, Evans walked on to the team, he only recorded 11 tackles and no other statistics in 2011 while playing mostly special teams. In 2012, all eyes were on Nigel Malone and Allen Chapman as the cornerbacks to watch while Evans quietly tore it up. Expect him to tear it up this year while also earning the national respect he deserves.
To work backwards in the countdown, visit Day 50, where we look Tre Walker’s upcoming senior season.