TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — When Rashaan Evans stepped in for an injured players and made 11 tackles in the National Championship Game that Alabama lost in the final seconds to Clemson, he had finally arrived.
A standout player who had trouble finding his spot in the lineup due to the logjam on the depth chart, Evans ended up developing in to a linebacker who can do everything. Not only can he man the middle, but come off the edge as an electrifying pass-rusher.
Named a team captain and honored as an All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association, Evans is a player everyone will be watching during the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Tennessee Titans selected Evans with the 22nd-overall pick in the first round of the draft on Thursday night.
Here are five things you need to know about him:
1. Rashaan Evans was recruited by Alabama out of Auburn High School
It’s still a sore spot with Alabama’s biggest rival, but Evans was recruited out of its back yard at Auburn High School. Sadly, the family business was targeted with everything from a burglary to boycotts, even though they were both Auburn graduates.
All I did was commit to a university to get my education and pursue my dreams but a whole city gone try and treat me like I'm satan #Really
— Rashaan Evans (@616evans4) February 11, 2014
2. Rashaan Evans wants fans to know the physical toll players take
While on the subject of tweets, Evans posted a memorable one when describing the severity of his groin injury last season: “People actually think I’m a 100%. Muscle was ripped from the bone, when was the last time u did the second digit on my jersey standing up?” Nevertheless, he missed just two games.
3. Rashaan Evans can play in any defensive system
Like with Minkah Fitzpatrick, versatility is something that sets Evans apart. At the NFL level he could be a rangy inside linebacker for a 3-4 or a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme who could also pass-rush. “The more things that you can do from a versatility standpoint creates value for you in terms of the roles you can play for any team, especially in the NFL, where you have a limited roster,” Nick Saban said. “Guys might have to play multiple roles if someone gets injured or something like that, so I think the versatility is the huge advantage for them.”
4. Rashaan Evans is good at self-motivation, but not predictions
To help motivate himself, Evans tweeted last February that he would win the Butkus Award. At the time the one-time Parade All-American and 5-star recruit in the signing Class of 2014 had yet to make a regular-season start.
5. The bigger the game, the better Rashaan Evans played
Evans and punter JK Scott are the only two players in college football to play in all four playoffs. In those seven games he’s totaled 38 tackles, including six for a loss and 4.5 sacks.
People actually think I’m a 100%. Muscle was ripped from the bone, when was the last time u did the second digit on my jersey standing up? pic.twitter.com/yKZuxaVzcr
— Rashaan Evans (@616evans4) October 9, 2017