Top 2020 RB Zachary Evans Is the Next Superstar 'Zeke' Coming for CFB

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

Zachary Evans
Zachary EvansCredit: Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Evaluating recruits is an inexact science.

While an enjoyable task, the conclusions reached must be genuine and deliberate. These prospects are all great athletes, so what makes them stand out? Which attribute shows up consistently? As with any type of assessment, a serious approach is essential.

But have you ever watched a highlight film that made you laugh?

Throw on the tape for Zachary Evans, a running back in the 2020 class. Check back here in about 20 seconds.

Let's recap: He one-hand-catches a desperation lateral behind the momentum of his body, taking him five yards backward. He collects himself and turns around only for eight defenders to be within a 10-yard radius and just two teammates to help.

No problem.

A quick retreat helps Evans shake a diving tackle attempt before deftly splitting and spinning past two defenders. Evans finally gets a couple of blocks and starts his touchdown trot at the 25-yard line.

The 25 is about nine yards behind the original line of scrimmage.

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Now that national signing day is over, the 2019 recruiting cycle is basically finished. The hype train for Evanswho is considered the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2020 classis preparing for launch.

As you'd expect with a player of his caliber, most of the top college football programs are pursuing "Zeke."

Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M are among the 39 offers. He posted a list of his top 11 schools in January but added he's "100 percent open."

Evans has unofficially visited or camped at eight schools, including multiple trips to Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

For good reason, this recruitment is hectic.

Last season, Evans shared MaxPreps National Junior Player of the Year honors while rushing for 1,785 yards and 29 touchdowns and helping North Shore (Texas) win a dramatic state title. That followed a 2017 campaign with 1,483 yards and 27 scores.

Given all that production and top billing, you might think the Lone Star State product is nicknamed after Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. That's not the case.

But Evans has the talent to dominate college football like Elliott did.

While speed is an obvious strength for Evans, he's remarkably smooth for a player listed at 6'0" and 213 pounds. He's a patient runner yet still has sudden acceleration to burst through a running lane between the tackles or hit the sideline.

By no means is Evans a finesse back, but he isn't necessarily a punishing runner. Still, he easily brushes past arm tackles. Though he typically tries to bounce off tackles, he's delivered a few crushing hits when lowering a shoulder.

As long as Evans learns to power forward for a couple of yardsbouncing outside doesn't work as often at the next levelhe'll be a tremendous asset to his future school.

Projecting what he'll accomplish is moot, given that his college destination is unsettled. Evans could be a featured back or one heck of a lead runner in a star-studded rotation. Those conversations will happen within a year.

The discussion right now, however, is simple.

Zeke's hype train is ready to go.


All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from, or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.