Managing editor Nathanael Rutherford also contributed to this article
Tiyon Evans, the top-ranked running back in junior college, announced his commitment to Tennessee on Thursday afternoon, continuing the Vols’ recent recruiting momentum.
“After a conversation with my Mom, my brothers and my girlfriend, I decided that Tennessee is the best fit for me and has some great opportunities,” Evans wrote on Twitter. “I wanna say thank you to all the coaches that recruited me, also wanna thank my head coach and position coach for putting their faith and relentless effort in me.
“Also I just wanna thank the man above for answering my prayers and opening my eyes to the bigger picture. With that being said, I’m excited to say that I’m officially committed to the University of Tennessee.”
— Tiyon Evans (@darealballer_15) April 30, 2020
The Hartsville, South Carolina native is currently at Hutchinson Community College — the same junior college former Tennessee running Alvin Kamara attended. Evans is currently ranked as the No. 3 overall JUCO player and top-ranked JUCO running back according to 247Sports. South Carolina, Oklahoma State, Houston, UCF, and Maryland have all also offered Evans. The Vols were the first team to offer Evans once he made it to junior college. He gives Tennessee its fourth commitment in the past five days. The Vols currently sit at No. 5 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
In high school, Evans played quarterback for Hartsville in his senior season and was a three-star recruit, rated No. 421 overall in the 2019 class per 247Sports. He threw for 13 touchdowns and 1,345 yards while also gaining 1,477 rushing yards and scoring 25 rushing touchdowns on 126 carries as a senior. Prior to that, he had rushed for 2,000-plus yards in both his junior and sophomore seasons.
At Hutchinson, Evans was used more as a special teams player early in the 2019 season, but his role expanded as the season went on, and he capped off the year in style with a 194-yard rushing performance against Monroe College to end the season.
Evans is an explosive athlete who is elusive and hard to bring down. He has a good burst and shifty feet. He’s a smart runner and showed off his strong football IQ. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands.
In his first year at Hutchinson, Evans carried the ball 61 times for 538 yards and nine touchdowns while also returning 18 kick-offs for an average of 33.8 yards a return, returning two kick-offs for scores according to the school’s website. He also scored on a 27-yard reception and racked up 1,189 all-purpose yards, scoring 12 total touchdowns.
Tennessee is set to lose three running backs — Ty Chandler, Tim Jordan, and Carlin Fils-aime — following the completion of the 2020 season. Evans is the second running back to commit to the Vols this cycle. Elijah Howard, a three-star athlete from Baylor School in Chattanooga, is expected to play defensive back for the Vols, however.
UT brought in three running backs in the previous recruiting cycle. Four-star Len’Neth Whitehead, three-star Tee Hodge, and three-star Jabari Small all signed with the Vols as part of the 2020 recruiting class.