After a flurry of additions to the 2018 recruiting class at the end of April into May, the Hawkeyes got more good news with the announcement that Illinois athlete Samson Evans commitment to Iowa. Evans joins high school teammate Jeff Jenkins with Hawkeye pledges out of Prairie Ridge in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
The Hawkeyes got one of the most electric players on offense in the state of Illinois with Evans, who plays quarterback at Prairie Ridge, but could be moving to wide receiver as an explosive weapon when his playing days at Iowa begin.
He was thought of as the best player in the ‘Land of Lincoln’ in 2016 according to Illinois high school football expert Edgy Tim of CSN Chicago:
Evans was a marked man on literally every snap he took in 2016, yet still found a way to average nearly a first down every time he touched the football. Evans took hit after hit and never backed down. You might stop him for a short gain, then a play or two later he would be running downfield untouched for one of his 43 touchdown runs.
Evans, who led the Wolves’ power option running attack, ran for 2,211 yards and 43 touchdowns and averaged a sick 9.6 yards per carry. Evans also completed 29 of 52 passes (yes, Prairie Ridge can and will pass the football) for 815 yards and 13 touchdowns. Strong numbers? Certainly, yet as the case in many Player of the Year winners, stats alone don’t tell the entire story.
Prairie Ridge scored an amazing 701 points in 2016, and at one point had 10 straight games of putting up a running clock (40-point lead) on its opponents. That same running clock streak also stretched into the postseason as the Wolves accomplished the feat in each of the first three rounds of the Class 6A state playoffs. Their blowout win in the 6A state title game came by a mere 31 points. Evans ran for 274 yards – a 6A state-title record – and four touchdowns.
Evans is currently ranked as the 20th overall player in Illinois according to 24/7 Sports with a three start grade. Iowa got 4 players from Illinois ranked in the top 41 in the 2017 recruiting cycle in Camron Harrell, Ivory Kelly-Martin, Henry Marchese and the states top ranked player AJ Epenesa.
Playing time could be immediate for Evans with the current wide receiver position in flux for the Hawkeyes. Matt VandeBerg is the only senior on the roster in 2017, and no established starting options have emerged. The Hawkeyes most certainly must continue to build on the strong start to adding to the receiver room as they did in the 2017 recruiting cycle, and Evans is a great addition.
Evans is the sixth known commitment to the Hawkeyes for the 2018 class joining mentioned high school friend OL Jeff Jenkins, running back Henry Geil, fellow potential wide out Tyrone Tracy and Iowa natives Dillon Doyle and Tyler Linderbaum.