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Auburn and Alabama coaches attend five-star recruit's grandfather's birthday party



Rashaan Evans intercepts a pass during the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Football Classic. / Mickey Welsh, Montgomery Advertiser

AUBURN, Ala. — The final push to land Rashaan Evans came at a birthday party Saturday night.

The coaching staffs of Auburn and Alabama were in full force at the 80th birthday party for Evans’ grandfather, held at a hotel in Auburn.

Attempts to reach Alan Evans, Rashaan’s father, on Sunday were unsuccessful, but he described the scene, which included coaches taking to the dance floor, to AL.com.

SIGNING DAY CENTRAL

“We walked in and the first people we saw was the entire Auburn staff standing there on our left and to my right was Kirby Smart and the Bama staff. I was like ‘This has never happened in Auburn before and probably never will again,’ ” Alan Evans told AL.com. “As we went in, we were pulled left and right all night from Auburn to Bama.

MORE: Saban, Tide recruiting outside SEC footprint

“The coaches shook hands and talked, but you could tell they were there for one thing and one thing only. Then the live band started playing and the Alabama and Auburn coaches hit the dance floor. It was unbelievable. I just couldn’t stop laughing.”

Add a birthday party dance floor to the list of crazy recruiting stories.

It’ll be no laughing matter on National Signing Day when Evans announces his college choice at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Auburn High School.

Evans, the 6A Lineman of the Year and one of the top players in the state, is among the top remaining uncommitted players in the country and is considering both in-state rivals as well as UCLA. The five-star prospect took official visits to both Alabama and Auburn but cancelled an unofficial visit to Los Angeles last week.

Each program has different plans for where to play the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Evans, who had 77 tackles, with 43 for loss including 17½ sacks last season.

Auburn sees Evans bringing a pass rushing skill set to the “star” safety position, where Robenson Therezie thrived this season and Justin Garrett had a breakout performance last spring before two foot injuries ended his season. Alabama considers Evans an outside linebacker, and UCLA is willing to play him on offense and defense.

Auburn coaches showed Evans tape of Garrett and Therezie playing the hybrid “star” role as well as Antonio Allen, who played the same the same position in defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 defense at South Carolina before reaching the NFL with the New York Jets. The Tigers’ staff feels Evans can bring the same versatility as Allen, who had 88 tackles, with 9½ for loss, a sack, two pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions as a senior with the Gamecocks in 2011.

“They feel like with (Allen), some of the things he did, they feel I can do all over again if not better,” Evans said.

James Crepea also writes for the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.

 

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