Posted: 1:36 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

UGA target will stay at junior college rather than play in SEC this season 

By Michael Carvell

The biggest surprise visitor at UGA’s Dawg Night was Justin Evans, a junior college safety who is committed to Texas A&M.

It has been a wild and wacky week for Evans, who is rated as the nation’s No. 1 safety prospect out of the junior college ranks.

And it all started when the 6-foot, 185-pounder showed up seemingly out of the blue last Friday night at UGA.

Evans, who is a rising sophomore attends Mississippi Gulf Coast junior, told GigEm247’s Taylor Hamm that he was visiting his girlfriend in Atlanta and made a last-minute decision to drive over to UGA.

Nation's No. 1 JC safety, Justin Evans (247sports)

Nation’s No. 1 JC safety, Justin Evans (247sports)

Evans committed to Texas A&M last May and also has offers from UGA, Alabama and Auburn, among others.

Here’s where the story takes a really interesting twist: Evans said that he just recently found out that he’s eligible to enroll at a four-year school this summer rather than the original plan of waiting until after he finishes his two-year degree in December. That’s because Evans was an academic qualifier out of high school, so he doesn’t need the two-year degree.

Obviously, that new discovery raised some eyebrows (and hopes) at UGA because of the team’s urgent need for depth at defensive back. The Bulldogs have lost three out of four starters in the defensive secondary since the end of last season due to non-football reasons.

UGA wants him right now, Evans told GigEm247. “They showed a lot of love. They wanted me there now, not in December, which is what I want to do. The coaches didn’t know I was qualified so they were like, ‘You can come this season!’ so we talked a lot about that. Then, they showed me around campus.”

After Evans left his unofficial visit to UGA, he contacted Texas A&M about enrolling this summer rather than waiting until January. (It’s rare for a player to willingly stay in junior college another year over playing immediately in the SEC or at the D1 level)

On Tuesday night, Evans told GigEm247 that he talked to a Texas A&M assistant who advised him to stay at Mississippi Gulf for this season. Maybe Texas A&M didn’t have any more available scholarships available? Maybe Texas A&M didn’t want to get on the bad side of the junior college coaches for taking their star player unexpectedly this close to the start of the season?

Here’s how Evans explained it: “I just got off the phone with Coach (Terry) Joseph, and he said for me to come in this late and to know the defense right away, and play at the speed that I play at will most likely not happen. So he thinks it’s best for me to stay here, play this season, come in January and go from there. I told my coach about having three years of playing time but they said they highly doubt I play three years anyways so they think this is the best choice to make.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Mississippi Gulf Coast coach Chad Huff was asked whether or not Evans was indeed eligible to transfer this summer to a four-year school.

“He had … um … I’m not going to say a whole lot on that, know what I’m staying? He’s returning and coming back to Gulf Coast,” Huff told the AJC “He will be leaving here in January. He will sign with a four-year school in January.”

By staying at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Evans will now have only two seasons to play FBS football and not three. He’s expected to enroll at Texas A&M in December.

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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40 comments
C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Trying to figure out an 18 or 19 year old logic is impossible but in this case I just wasn't listening to Justin. He could play this year at Georgia but is choosing to stay at JUCO one more season because Texas A&M  doesn't have a Scholarship to give him. What he is saying is he would rather stay committed to Texas A&M with 2 years left than go with Georgia this year with three. Meaning he made his choice between Texas A&M and Georgia. Time to move on , Georgia. 

Atl_Nole
Atl_Nole

I really don't see the why he would waste another year at a junior college and not attend UGA... 

*UGA will be a better team than A&M

*UGA has a better DC than A&M

*His girlfriend will be close

*UGA really want and need him now

keendaddy
keendaddy

Snagglepuss is right! Some of you guys need to stop speaking in absolutes. Use may or might, could or should, instead of will or book it, lol. Unless you have reliable inside information, you're just guessing. No big deal, it makes for a nice read...

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

The Aggies are paying somebody.  Just sayin.  Otherwise why would a kid stay at a JR college a full year instead of immediately playing at a SEC school.  Funny stuff.

Columbus68
Columbus68

The 1st commenter on this story returns to update you.  Look for Justin to sign with UGA by the weekend....maybe tomorrow morning.  

FireSomebody
FireSomebody

Check back in 5 minutes.  This situation is likely to change.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

Coach TJ:  Son, you've already cashed the check.  That check was issued on a contingency that you would enroll for next year.  We don't have any space for you this year.

Coach CH: Um.....yeah, i already got paid too.  think it'd be best for you to just return to school here and a wait a semester before going to T A&M.

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

Classic example of the power of deception... definitely shameful advice from two shady adult coaches who seem oblivious to the fact of exploiting a young student/athlete with their own personal advantages rather than what's best for the student/athlete...

People on this big round ball of dirt,  that we humans call Earth, have totally lost all sense of morals and judgement... I am very thankful that UGA has CMR as our leader...

"BELIEVE" in the G

Rollingtide10
Rollingtide10

If he is that Good...Bama will convert him. I can see why wait now to January..Less then 5 weeks to go until season starts. Dawgs may get him. It will be between the Dawgs and Crimson Tide.

tgburnett
tgburnett

People who really believe A&M, who is as thin if not thinner at DB than Georgia, would really tell the kid  to just go back to Juco as opposed to coming in, learning the system, getting to know the players, getting on the right nutrition, getting in the weight room and most importantly actually getting on campus without risking another team poaching him over the next couple months is an absolute idiot.  There is clearly more to this story, as we've been told, but I'm definitely interested to hear what that is.  Something tells me this kid and/or his coach are definitely not telling the whole story either on his academics or something else.  Maybe the girlfriend has something to do with it so he's telling people A&M told him to wait another semester, who knows, but a highly regarded recruiting powerhouse (as in the coaches they have being excellent recruiters) with him being a HUGE need wouldn't just say "no thanks".  They even just had a kid quit the team opening up a scholarship, so there is definitely more here than they're saying.

bdog9seclx
bdog9seclx

Selfish JUCO and A&M coaches.  3 years ove 2 any day. what if he gets injured next year?  Take the SEC experience  as opposed to JUCO...makes no sense. He even said he wanted to play now. His JUCO coch is dishonest saying he didnt know he qualified now...please. if A&M wants him they shot them self in the foot showing he isnt really a priority to them.  i would be offended and my parents would talk some sense into me as well.  College station to Atlanta is a long drive

UGAJD
UGAJD

Under these circumstances, given the immediate opportunity to play in the SEC, it's difficult to understand why Evans would not enroll at UGA today.

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

Sounds like Texas A&M is advising Justin based on what is best for them not Justin. Texas A&M would use him as a back up this year where Georgia would use him a lot because of his experience and their need . Chances are he will only play 2 years anyway before going Pro so he would have to finish his degree when he can fit it in . 

Justin this is the question you need to ask. Are you better learning from a Junior College Coach for another season or under Pruitt , who Coaches the Defensive Backs. Why would you give up playing as soon as possible under someone who has helped Coach on 3 National Championship Teams? Throw in how much closer your girlfriend lives make this a no brainier.

Buzz-Off
Buzz-Off

There is no way I would wait if I were in Justin's shoes. UGa really needs him NOW and the timing is perfect. Also, having his girlfriend close by is a definite plus.

HotDawg
HotDawg

That was a very disrespectful, tasteless tweet with the girl to publish in the AJC.

What do you think the comment means? Yep.

Jeez, show some respect for yourself girl or others won't.

96JB
96JB

Nope. He'll be at A&M even though he could play a lot this year and start for 2 more.

Columbus68
Columbus68

Not to mention the experience he gets THIS year will be MUCH MORE VALUABLE to him than another year playing in JUCO.  Going up against great receivers and having Pruitt coaching him for a FULL year...it is a WIN-WIN for Justin and UGA and UGA fans......welcome to the Dawg family Justin.   Throw in his GF lives nearby and that trumps A&M and any current coach.  Know what I am saying?  I know you do!

Columbus68
Columbus68

He is coming to UGA.  Perfect fit.  The time is NOW FOR HIM AND UGA!  He will START before the season is over in Athens.....Come ON JUSTIN!  Got your bags packed yet? 

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@Atl_Nole

My guess is he is 19 going on 20 years old. Trying  to understand a 19 or 20 year old will only give you a headache. 

Sounds like the Recruiter for Texas A&M has convinced him to stay one more year knowing Texas A&M can't use him now because they don't have any Scholarships left  but can for the 2015 season. 

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@keendaddy 


Thanks KingDaddy!!!!!!!!!!!!


You are  STILL my hero  and any success I have enjoyed was inspired by you.


Is there a reason you have slowed on posting???????????

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

@Rollingtide10  something doesn't add up that is for sure. A&M deserves to lose him if they wont make room. give me a break and why would they do that?


I hope he lands somewhere else for sure.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

@tgburnett where's the uncertainty??  you said it, they're thin at db.  Why wouldn't they want an opportunity of 3 years with the kid as oppose to only 2?

do you really think that enrolling at T A&M and being on the bench next year while learning their defensive philosophy would be bad for him?  If anything, it'd give him an even bigger leg up on the competition heading into '15, rather than just coming in the spring before.

T A&M wasn't expecting him to be available and they clearly don't have a scholarship available for him.  i'm sure the one you referenced above has been promised to someone else.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@bdog9seclx 


Makes no sense to go to JC if you were qualified for a major university in the first place, unless he was not a highly rated recruit coming out of high school.  And, if so, why not a smaller FCS school instead of JC?  This is indeed a very strange recruiting story.  Lots of unanswered questions that one would think would have answers for a story like this.

TU
TU

@bdog9seclx Don't forget, Ga State is in downtown Atlanta. From a business standpoint, the NFL will discover your skill set wherever you are, especially if you are the star of the team.


iamlistening
iamlistening

@bdog9seclx You just beat me to the 'selfish' comment. Their attempt to persuade him to stay in JUCO should have automatically made him decommit from Texas A&M. As a matter of fact, I think some other programs are going to get into his hear about this move and I doubt he sticks with them. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't play for Alabama, Auburn or Georgia in the end. 

OGTripleOG
OGTripleOG

All she said is that she's a rider which means she's loyal to her man

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

@Jack5150 @Dawg-Gawn 

Is that the same good judgment that makes AU relative?  Take away the players from AU who have been kicked out of other SEC schools and they got nothing.  How embarrassing for a school claiming to be a top tier University.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@iamlistening @bdog9seclx 


For future reference I would suggest using the phrase "It wouldn't surprise me if he plays for Alabama, Auburn or Georgia in the end" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@OGTripleOG 


"He got him a rider"


Might mean that is some other language than the English language. But, heck, it is not even an English language sentence anyway.  That painful and horrific sound you hear in the background is the crumbling of all that is good and sensible from past generations and societies into one the placates everyone and enables everyone to fall below the mid range of a basic cognitive skill set.  It is the future, and the future......"it be good 4 me and U." 

TampGator1
TampGator1

"into one that placates" in the above post. 

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

@Jack5150

"The most momentous thing in human life is the art of winning the soul to good or to evil." ~ Pythagoras

"BELIEVE" in the G

TampGator1
TampGator1

And....oh.....


"He be gone to A&M fo shu."