TUSCLAOOSA, Ala. - Alabama had solidified their signing board, unsurprisingly signing an incredibly talented class, and expecting players like Malachi Dupre and others to commit to other schools. But one of the last players to commit was Rashaan Evans, the five-star, No. 1 linebacker in the 2014 class, and he did not disappoint.
I predicted that Evans would select Auburn. It made sense. The Tigers are a month removed from a BCS title appearance and have more clout in recruiting than they’ve had in years. Evans grew up in Auburn, went to Auburn High School, his mom graduated from Auburn, and his dad played there. If anyone was a legacy lean, it was Evans. Throughout his recruitment process, he actually seemed split between the two Alabamian football programs. And up until the moment when Evans was set to commit, he still was deciding.
Taking longer than most to pull a hat from under his announcement table, Evans eventually picked Alabama over his hometown team, shocking many and temporarily melting Twitter.
Evans was obviously recruited by Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and other recruiters, but the most important voice in his ear during this process was probably former Auburn High player and current Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Evans and Foster were teammates and seem to be close friends - Foster was at Evans’s announcement ceremony today. The experience that Foster endured through selecting Alabama could serve as necessary advice for a player like Evans who was making the same decision. The only difference between the two being that Evans is probably the better prospect and he doesn’t have a gigantic Auburn tattoo on his forearm like Foster.
Evans was the 25th signee for this No. 1 recruiting class and he was by far the most surprising addition. But when the success rate at a school like Alabama is so high, the recruits want to play for you, even if they might not start right away. This year’s recruiting class rankings probably wouldn’t change had Evans gone to Auburn, but the class that was already the the best in college football got even better with him.