METAIRIE, La. — Though he’ll be suited up and ready, Jordan Evans is not certain he’ll be seeing any actual action during Thursday night’s Sugar Bowl, when Oklahoma takes on Alabama inside the Superdome.
His injured ankle has heeled well enough for him to resume a full practice schedule, but there are sometimes consequences to the missed reps injuries lead to.
“I may be in there,” he said Tuesday. “We still have a couple of days.”
Whether the Norman North product takes the field against the Crimson Tide, there can be no doubt just how far he’s come the last 15 months or so of his life.
Playing offense, defense and becoming the state’s most dangerous special teams player, Evans led North to the 2012 Class 6A championship game.
Next, he arrived at OU and quickly became too valuable to consider redshirting, earning time as a special teams starter and backing up Frank Shannon, OU’s leading tackler, at the linebacker position.
Then, when Shannon was hurt, Evans filled in well enough that the Sooner defense hardly missed a beat. And now, here he is in New Orleans, hoping to play, of course, but more importantly at peace with a true freshman season in which he has managed to demonstrate his worthiness.
“I’m very happy with the season I’ve had,” said Evans, who will enter Thursday night with 12 tackles, half a tackle for loss, one pass break-up and one pass deflection. “I was able to be very productive and made good strides as a freshman and got a lot of experience … Going into next year, I feel like (that) will help me.”
Evans understands that what he’s really done is lay a foundation for more and better things ahead.
“There are levels to this,” he said. “I proved that I could play. Now I need to prove that I can be an impact player.”
Also, along the way, he hasn’t forgotten for a moment where he’s come from.
He said he’s in very good touch with his senior class North teammates, now spread out as freshmen at many different colleges and universities. Also, he continues to take a vested interest in his old teammates not yet done with their time as Timberwolves.
“The guys back at North, I’m still good friends with them, and I’ll text them or they’ll text me or call me,” Evans said. “I know what’s going on, and I like to go back to a game here and there when I’m free, just to show them I still care.”
Also, speaking of still caring, it is because of Evans’ devotion to another part of his life that he said he had no plans to be out late on New Year’s Eve.
Sooner coach Bob Stoops laid down a 12:15 a.m. curfew on the final night of 2013, conceivably leaving players enough time to see the clock strike midnight on Bourbon Street before hustling back into their French Quarter hotel without breaking it. Evans, though, said he had nothing to worry about
“I plan to Face-Time with my girlfriend,” he said.
Face-Time is a video chat application.
So, at midnight, Evans said, he wanted to see and speak to Derica Wyatt, the true freshman from Bentwood, Tenn., who just started her first game for coach Sherri Coale’s Sooner women’s basketball team.
Yet another good move from the hometown kid who’s made many of them on his way to the Sugar Bowl.
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