For weeks this winter Georgia Bulldog fans were engrossed in the saga of Texas tailback recruit Zach Evans. He’s a phenomenally talented player, but also found himself suspended from his high school team twice during his senior season. The first was for a confrontation with a coach early in the year. Then right before his team was to play for a state championship Evans was benched again because he wouldn’t honor the coaches’ no cell phone policy. However every indication was that Georgia along with LSU, Texas A&M and a host of other heavyweights were still vying for his signature.
During his Signing Day press conference Smart extemporated for a while about recruiting a class full of guys who will be good team mates and leaders, and it felt a little like Evans’ absence from that class was by design. We would learn eventually that Evans, hailed by recruiting services as the top running back in the country for the class of 2020, actually signed a National Letter of Intent with Georgia but that Kirby Smart and his staff declined to submit it and let Evans out of his commitment.
Florida and Tennessee among other schools continued to be linked to Evans through the spring, then things got quiet with regard to Evans’ recruitment. Then this week news emerged that Evans has now enrolled at Texas Christian. Evans becomes the first five star recruit to enroll at TCU during the modern era of college football. For a program perennially on the cusp of college football’s elites Evans is probably a sound gamble.
For Bulldog fans, Evans’ recruitment will likely go down in history as one of a series of decisions made by Kirby Smart over the past twelve months that will help shape the future of the UGA program and mold it in Smart’s image. From heroic scheduling, to decisive changes to his offensive coaching staff, Kirby has probably changed more about the Bulldog program in the past twelve months than anyone could have expected from a program that’s won its division three years running. 2016 Kirby might have taken a chance on a five star recruit with some nagging question marks. 2020 Kirby doesn’t have to. Until later...