RTI recruiting contributor Landon Steffy is the author of this article
Tennessee’s coaching staff is getting involved with several highly touted recruits for the 2020 class. That momentum continued on Thursday night, as Tennessee has made the top 10 for an elite five-star pass rusher out of North Carolina.
Per his Twitter account, composite five-star weak-side defensive end Desmond Evans has included the Vols as one of his top teams in his recruitment moving forward. The 6-foot-6, 238-pound defensive end from Sanford, North Carolina plays for Lee County High School. Teams also making his top 10 include Alabama, Clemson, Duke, Florida, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
— Desmond Evans (@desevans10) May 3, 2019
Evans is the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he’s the No. 2 weak-side defensive end in the class, trailing only current Alabama commit Chris Braswell. Evans is also the top-ranked recruit in the state of North Carolina.
The talented five-star has committed to playing in the 2020 Under Armor All-American game in January 2020. The five-star visited Tennessee’s campus last year when the Vols hosted Alabama in October. He’s been a frequent visitor to the University of North Carolina’s campus, and he’s made multiple trips to see NC State and South Carolina as well.
Evans has an incredible size-to-speed ratio. For being 6-foot-6 and nearly 240 pounds, he can move. He also has incredible get-off from the ball, easily getting into the backfield before the opposing offensive lineman can react. Evans possesses good strength for his size and uses a bull rush move and his speed off the ball as his most effective pass rush techniques. One highlight stands out in particular, as he manages to get through a triple team by the opposing offensive line and makes the tackle for a loss. He has the frame to possibly bulk up and move inside to play defensive tackle in college, but he likely will stay at his defensive end post.
As a junior for his high school team, Evans racked up an impressive stat line. He totaled 69 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery according to MaxPreps. Evans also plays basketball for Lee County and averaged 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds as a junior.
While Evans hasn’t visited the Tennessee yet this year, the Vols will likely do all they can to get him to visit again. North Carolina seems to be the biggest threat, as he visited the Tar Heels three times in the month of March and once already in April.