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November 4, 2013

Evans shares Broyles’ knack

NORMAN — As the question was put to Bob Stoops at his weekly press conference Monday, it was explained that the comparison might be a reach.

Because one had already spent a year in the NFL before the other committed to play his college football at Oklahoma, and one might be the college game’s greatest receiver and clearly its most prolific, while the other has only just received extended playing time for the first time.

Yet, despite being from different high schools, they nonetheless may be forever intertwined, each representing one half of the Crosstown Clash.

One, Ryan Broyles, from Norman High, can’t seem to catch a break on the injury front since becoming a Detroit Lion. But just as he did at OU, catching passes thrown by Sam Bradford and Landry Jones, he made his gifts clear upon becoming a pro, winning a starting spot as a rookie and then coming back to win it again on the back end of his second ACL tear in two years before a torn Achilles’ tendon sidelined him this season.

The other, Jordan Evans, from Norman North, made clear his capabilities last time out, against Texas Tech, filling in for Frank Shannon and hardly missing a beat, making eight tackles against the Red Raiders, leaving his coach gushing and unafraid to take on a comparison despite it being a reach.

Do Broyles and Evans, two hometown kids, both late to the recruiting party — at least to the Sooners’ recruiting party — share a similar gift? Do they feel the game in way others don’t and in a way that can’t be coached?

“It’s fair to say,” Stoops said. “One on the offensive side and one on the defensive side, they’re just ballplayers. They play well wherever they’re at and they continually make plays wherever they’re at.”

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