The South Carolina football staff may try to win the pledge of the nation’s top JUCO running back.
Hartsville (S.C.) running back Tiyon Evans committed to play for the Tennessee Volunteers back in April. On Saturday, he announced his intention to open the recruiting process back up, decommitting from Jeremy Pruitt’s program over the weekend.
Evans, a member of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, is rated by 247Sports as a four-star prospect and the nation’s top junior college running back option. As a freshman last year, he rushed for 538 yards and nine touchdowns. Since Hutchinson’s 2020 football season has been postponed until the spring, Evans will have three years of eligibility at his next stop. He plans to graduate in December.
His original commitment to the Vols came as a bit of a shock to most around the recruiting world. Most believed he was a heavy lean to his home state Gamecocks. He was also considering Auburn, Maryland, and East Carolina at the time of the commitment. With the change of heart, though, Will Muschamp and Co. could hop right back into the driver’s seat for Evans’ recruitment. He’s said he’s not yet been in contact with any other schools.
“I’m basically starting from scratch,” said Evans, in an interview with Phil Kornblut of the Post and Courier. “I still have Tennessee as an option, but if things go wrong and the scholarship for me ends up going somewhere else… at the end of the day I am taking the time to see what my possibilities are… I haven’t been communicating with no one. I just decided to open my recruiting back up because I felt like I rushed things. I felt like I should really look into this more. The place I’m going to be going to is where I’m at, so I’m not leaving. And I have a family as well. I have a son on the way in December, so I have to make sure everything is going to be straight with him. Wherever I go, that’s where my family is going to be.”
South Carolina currently has two running backs committed to its 2021 class in Georgia natives Antario Brown and Caleb McDowell. Brown is rated as the nation’s 30th best running back, while McDowell is ranked 55th at his respective position. This coming a year after taking two backs in the class of 2020, too.
It will be interesting to see if the Gamecocks actively pursue Evans’ commitment, or if they’ve decided to cap the number of tailbacks they’ll add to this current class. One thing is for sure, you can never have too many talented options in the backfield. South Carolina found this out first hand with the season-ending injury to projected starter MarShawn Lloyd.
If the Gamecocks do land Evans’ pledge, it will be the second straight season that South Carolina has successfully recruited the nation’s top junior college running back. The Gamecocks signed JUCO All-American ZaQuandre White out of Iowa Western in its most recent class.