Top-ranked JUCO running back commits to Vols for second time

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    (Photo via @darealballer_15 on Twitter)

    Tiyon Evans originally committed to Tennessee on April 30 before deciding to decommit on Sept. 19.

    Evans is back in the boat just over two months later. The top-ranked junior college running back in the country committed to the Vols for a second time on Saturday afternoon.

    “I don’t think they ready,” Evans said in a tweet as he announced the news.

    The Hartsville, South Carolina native is currently at Hutchinson Community College — the same junior college former Tennessee running Alvin Kamara attended.

    Evans is 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.

    In high school, Evans played quarterback for Hartsville during 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.

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    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 currently has one senior running back in Ty Chandler, who could elect to return for a second senior season after the NCAA granted all fall athletes a free year of eligibility. The Vols also have sophomore Eric Gray on scholarship, as well as four freshmen running backs in Jabari Small, Dee Beckwith, Tee Hodge and Len’Neth Whitehead.

    Evans is the third running back in Tennessee’s current 2021 class. The Vols also have commitments from four-star Cody Brown and three-star Jaylen Wright. Tennessee’s recruiting class currently ranks No. 11 overall and fifth-best in the SEC.