Officially, Tay Evans was first approached by Northwestern about a month ago. His recruitment with the Wildcats began a long time before that, thanks to 2013 offensive line signee Brad North, who has spent no small amount of time pushing and prodding Evans – a 6’3’’, 202-pound 2014 linebacker and teammate of North at Allen (Texas) High School – to give the Wildcats a second look.
“He’s been telling me about Northwestern ever since I got my first offer,” Evans said Wednesday. “He talks a lot about it.”
The pursuit continued Wednesday when a Northwestern coach attended an Allen practice. Evans doesn’t currently have a scholarship offer from NU, but said he expects one as soon as coaches run his sixth semester transcripts by the admissions department. He considers it a formality.
That expectation meant Evans could throw out a tentative list of top-five schools, within it Northwestern, even if the Wildcats can’t officially be considered one of his top choices right now. The other schools on his list are Stanford, Arizona State, Kansas State and Boise State. Indiana, Oregon State and San Diego State are among his other offers. Evans says the Cardinal is the highest among them, but is looking forward to taking several visits this summer, and possibly making a trip to Evanston.
“I just have to wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to visit sometime this summer.”
Position choice won’t affect Evans’ final decision; he just wants to rush the passer and contribute where his athleticism and physical prowess are best positioned to help his team win. The Wildcats haven’t issued a definitive slot for Evans, but he did say they could see him lining up at defensive end.
Some schools are pursuing Evans as an outside linebacker. Others prefer him in in the middle.
“I just want to get on the field,” he said. “that [position] doesn’t really matter too much.”
Packaging high-level academics and recent winning momentum have staked the Cardinal an early lead for Evans’ services. Northwestern offers a similar blend of academic esteem and on-field quality.
A scholarship offer is the next step in Evans’ growing relationship with Northwestern. A visit could come shortly after that. The ball is rolling, Evans is intrigued and the rest might come down to how convincing North’s faux-recruiting skills are.