99 Things has been going strong and we are getting closer to the new college football season. Our next subject for this series is new Ole Miss running back Zach Evans. Evans is a former five start player who started his career at TCU. After the resignation of Gary Patterson, Evans began evaluating his options and decided to enter the transfer portal. Evans considered Texas A&M but ultimately decided to play for Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss.
Evans had one of the more interesting recruitments of the past few seasons. Evans did not play in his state championship his senior season and was sent home. He violated the team’s cell phone policy and got into arguments over this issue with his coaches. He originally signed with Georgia on early signing day but was released from his national letter of intent. Evans waited until May of 2020 when he officially announced he would attending TCU after taking visits to Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
The freshman season for Evans saw limited playing time. He only carried the ball 54 times but he totaled 415 rushing yards while averaging over seven yards per carry. He also scored four touchdowns. His best game was against Louisiana Tech where he finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns. Evans entered the 2021 season with higher expectations but failed to stay healthy. He only played in six games but managed to top 100 yards in four of them. Evans averaged 7.0 yards per carry as a sophomore.
The junior season for Evans is going to be crucial for his NFL Draft stock. Evan’s talent is undeniable but proving it in the SEC is an opportunity turn the heads of coaches and scouts. Jerrion Ealy started for Ole Miss last season but is in the NFL now. This should allow Evans to be slotted into the starting lineup. He is a strong runner who has displayed elusiveness to make defenders miss in the second level. Evans has limited experience in pass protection and will need to prove his ability this year to help separate himself.
The Ole Miss Rebels will be one of the more exciting teams in the SEC after Evans transferred into the program. The Rebels will also be led by former USC QB Jaxson Dart. The combination of Evans and Dart should help lead the Rebels to an explosive offense. Joey Freshwater will have some lofty expectations in Oxford this fall.