Zachary Evans enrolls at TCU, ending one of the wildest recruiting sagas ever

Gary Patterson, TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Gary Patterson, TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

It’s over. Five-star running back Zachary Evans opts to stay in-state and play his college ball for the TCU Horned Frogs, ending a zany recruitment process.

Zachary Evans will be a TCU Horned Frog.

The five-star running back from Houston, Texas surprised us all once again, as he has enrolled at Texas Christian University to play his college football in-state. Evans’ recruitment has to be the zaniest we’ve seen in a very, very long time. With him enrolling in classes at TCU on Monday, head coach Gary Patterson might have himself the program’s next LaDainian Tomlinson.

HornedFrogBlitz’s Jeremy Clark reports TCU is getting its highest-rated player in program history. Not to say TCU hasn’t had incredible players come to Fort Worth, but the Horned Frogs typically don’t get players anywhere close to Evans’ caliber. Him landing there is every bit as strange as his entire recruiting process. How do we even begin to unravel it?

It all started when Evans told 247Sports’ Chris Hummer the Houston native wasn’t planning on having any Texas school in his top five a little less than a year ago. Hummer chronicles it well in his post. Here is when it got really weird heading into the early signing period back in December.

Evans was sent home the night of the 6A State Championship in Texas because he refused to give up his phone, which was breaking team rules. This was his second infraction during his senior season at North Shore High School in Houston.

Evans then announced he had signed his national letter of intent ahead of the early signing period, but did not say what school it was. It was rumored to be Georgia and was later confirmed by 247Sports that it was the Dawgs. He was set to make his commitment public at the Under Armour All-American Game, but instead offered an apology and re-opened his recruitment.

Georgia then let Evans out of his NLI and he did not sign on national signing day back in February. He visited a few schools, most notably Ole Miss to see what Lane Kiffin had in store in Oxford. Due to the global pandemic, that only further complicated things in Evans signing with a football team. Fate would have it the day after Mother’s Day, Evans signed and opted to stay home in Texas.

Hummer revealed two interesting wrinkles into Evans’ recruitment process. His late grandfather Albert Evans was a critical figure in his life, as Evans’ father was absent from the picture. His grandfather was the key figure in Evans picking up football but passed away in 2018. Evans’ mother Antoinette has stayed out of the recruitment process because “That’s Zach’s thing.”

The other well-known part in all this is Evans graduated high school a semester early, so he had been MIA when college programs would try to contact his alma mater. Evans has been out of school and waiting to find the right university for him to begin his college football career this fall. Though picking TCU is a bit strange, that is the best word to describe Evans’ recruitment overall.

We know how great of a coach Patterson is at TCU. He is an institution and has done a ton of winning in 20 years on the job. Though the Big 12 has belonged to the Oklahoma Sooners throughout the College Football Playoff era, maybe a talent like Evans can get TCU to Arlington and win the conference title? Evans has been billed as the next Adrian Peterson. We’ll see.

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