One of the nation’s top overall high school football prospects made a somewhat surprising decision to stay home, committing to in-state North Carolina ahead of fellow finalists Florida, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Desmond Evans, a five-star defensive end prospect for Lee County (N.C.) High School, announced his decision at his school’s homecoming pep rally. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound lineman emerged as the top recruiting priority for North Carolina coach Mack Brown and his staff shortly after he was re-hired in Chapel Hill last spring. According to ESPN, Brown, Tim Brewster and defensive line coach Tim Cross all tag-teamed Evans’ recruitment, remaining in front of him throughout the months since.
Now, he’s a Tar Heel, and one of the biggest recruits in program history.
Evans’ pledge should vault North Carolina safely into the top-20 overall recruiting classes nationwide, and may be enough to keep them there through Signing Day. He wouldn’t be enough to get the Tar Heels into the top-10 himself, but if the buzz from Evans’ addition helps the Heels land other prime time recruits, the sky is the limit for Brown’s first full class.
“The intangibles are what is special aside from the height, weight and athletic ability,” Evans’ high school coach Steve Burdeau told ESPN. “How hard he plays from the snap to the whistle is what really sets him apart from some others.”