Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
We’re now just 15 days from kick-off against North Dakota State and truly in the meat of our daily countdown with an impressive double feature of player previews today. Two players were listed as number 15 on the spring roster – quarterback Jake Waters and cornerback Randall Evans. Because both players will be competing not just for a roster spot, but starting roles, it’s safe to assume one will be forced to find another jersey number. And while Waters wore the number at Iowa Western before transferring to K-State, Evans owned the number for K-State last year and should be allotted the jersey.
While we rolled out our preview of Waters earlier today, this afternoon we transition to a player with possibly even more pressure to perform this season in Randall Evans (featured above getting a sack on Case McCoy during the Texas game last season). The reasoning? The majority of the media has sided on the Daniel Sams side of the debate surrounding who will be the starting quarterback, and the offense should be successful even if Waters never sees the field. Evans, however, must step up this year if the Wildcats hope to compete in the pass-happy Big 12.
Evans walked on to the team in 2010 as a lock-down cornerback out of Miami, Florida. He collected seven interceptions his junior year of high school while compiling 65 tackles, followed by five interceptions and 50 stops as a senior. His redshirt freshman year he saw some playing time with 11 tackles behind studs Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone.
Evans broke out in a big way last year, subbing in on occasion and serving as the team’s five defensive back in nickel packages. Notably, he recorded 76 tackles in 2012 which ranked him third overall on the team (which you’d know if you were following the countdown early in the summer). He contributed three tackles-for-loss, a sack, an interception, six pass breakups, seven passes defended, a fumble recovery, and two forced fumbles. If you didn’t notice Evans on the field last year, it was because the commentators were too busy talking about the rest of the defense as he was making some serious noise.
The Spring Game featured Evans, Kip Daily, Ty Zimmerman, and Dante Burnett in the defensive backfield for the starting squad. And while Daily should battle Carl Miles for one of the starting cornerback spots, Evans should be considered a shoe-in for other. It’s his time, and he’s ready.
To visit the first entry in today’s doubleheader, click here to visit our preview of quarterback Jake Waters.