With the implementation of a 3-4 defense, you look for a certain level of strength down in the trenches. Players that can keep blockers occupied, while also finding their way into the backfield. Not only being a Louisiana 1A Defensive Player of the Year in football, but a two-time state champion in the shot-put brings in a good pedigree to Baton Rouge.
There’s some players that commit so early on that you forget they were in the class until they are making an impact on the field. Three-star defensive tackle Joseph Evans committed to LSU after a visit during his junior season, and shut every thing down on the recruiting front.
110 - 101 = Franchise Player. One of the best players to come along in years, if not decades. Odds of having a player in this category every year is slim. This prospect has “can’t miss” talent.
100 - 98 = Five-star prospect. One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft.
97 - 90 = Four-star prospect. One of the top 300 players in the nation. This prospect will be an impact-player for his college team. He is an All-American candidate who is projected to play professionally.
89 - 80 = Three-star prospect. One of the top 10% players in the nation. This player will develop into a reliable starter for his college team and is among the best players in his region of the country. Many three-stars have significant pro potential.
79 - below = Two-star prospect. This player makes up the bulk of Division I rosters. He may have little pro-potential, but is likely to become a role player for his respective school.
247 Composite Rating: ***
247 Composite Ranking: .8702
There’s something eerily satisfying about having the 666th-ranked recruit in your class. Maybe he can be a “devil” against opposing offensive linemen. Evans was as high as 559 at one point, but I think (as you’ll soon see) that a lack of film will hurt recruits in getting a true evaluation on recruiting sites.
The only game footage from his senior season is this 1:20 clip. It’s hard to draw too much from these short highlights, especially with a low level 1A competition. He does show a good burst off the snap on a couple plays to find himself in the backfield quickly.
Evans does benefit from being the only defensive end taken in the 2019 class. The problem he is going to find is there is good depth on the line, especially once Rashard Lawrence gets back to full strength. Not only that, but the 2020 haul continues to grow with the recent commitment of Jaquelin Roy. Both Lawrence and Breiden Fehoko will be graduating after this season, so it will be on Evans to seize the opportunity before the newcomers arrive.
High End: Evans continues to impress the staff and finds himself earning a starting spot by the 2020 season.
Low End: The numbers game gets to Evans and he finds himself getting time in blowouts or heading into the transfer portal in a few years.
Realistic: I think the talent and strength is there to at least be a part of the defensive line rotation. It stands to reason that Neil Farrell Jr. and Glen Logan would be the favorites to start at the ends for 2020, but things are always fluid. Evans will have the opportunity to get quickly by year two, if he can get things done.