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November 26, 2012

Evans' Big Weekend

Norman (Okla.) North three-star linebacker Jordan Evans is in the midst of the greatest run in his program's history as his 12-1 Timberwolves head to their first ever state championship game this Friday. And while they found a way to win a heart-stopping 49-42 battle against Owasso it was in close contention for his biggest news of the weekend.

That's because the 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker - and son of former Sooner Scott Evans - picked up big news from Oklahoma and it was in a rather unique way from the head Sooner Bob Stoops.

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"It was before and after the game, I came up with a few of my friends and we got there around 2. We went out to the field and someone told me that coach (Tim) Kish wanted to see me," Evans recalled. "Dominique Alexander was there and I remembered him from (Oklahoma's summer) camp and I got to know him there. Coach (Bob) Stoops comes up and shook my hand and congratulated me on the win and then said to hang out afterward we're offering you a scholarship.

"I was like 'hold up' and Dominique was just laughing and hollering.

"And then afterward, coach Stoops, he more formally shook my hand and told me I had an offer from Oklahoma."

While many thought that he might make his decision instantaneously it seems that Evans still wants to go through a bit more of the recruiting process. Either way he says almost nothing is on his mind other than the chance to win his school's first-ever state title.

"You're right on point, I'm waiting until the season is over before I make any rash decisions. I want to focus on my teammates and my senior year and then afterward I'll get my top five schools that I am truly interested in and of course Oklahoma will be one of those five and then I'll take visits to a couple of them. I would like to take a visit to Oklahoma but I'm right here in town so I don't really have to," he explained.

"It felt great because it was another offer, every offer I've received I've gotten very excited about. My dream wasn't to just play for a certain team, but my dream was to play division one football. They've each gotten bigger and bigger but it's just been great and I'm enjoying things one moment at a time.

"I don't want to go there just because of the name of it, it has to be the fit for me. If I really want to go to Oklahoma I'll commit, or New Mexico, but that decision won't be made for a little while yet."

Evans' meteoric rise from a relatively unknown prospect to one of the state's top prospects bears an eerie resemblance to that of his own team. As a guy who consistently makes big plays for the Timberwolves and afterward talks about '11 guys making plays' it's no surprise that the only way he wants to see himself getting attention is for the accomplishments of his entire team.

"That's what it kind of seems like, over the few weeks and months, I've been getting blown up but the team has been as well, and that's the way it should be," he said. "It's not just me though, it's 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense, as you can see it's benefiting us that we play for all of those around us."

It's the same team that Evans says has been doubted from day one this season, and as such what outsiders think of their chances this week, or any other, is largely irrelevant to Evans and his teammates.

"People have actually doubted us since the season began, we were picked fifth in our district. Basically they didn't think we'd make the playoffs," he said. "Then playoff time came and we beat Southmoore, Broken Arrow, and Owasso, but throughout the whole time. This Norman North team never really cared about what the outside world thought. As long as we believed that was enough for us."

Evans, who has a visit set up for New Mexico on Dec. 14 and is working on one to Colorado State the preceding week, says that a big part of his team's success has been their ability to win games in a wide variety of ways. After a tough, defensive battle with Broken Arrow two weekends ago the Timberwolves got into a shootout with the Rams last Friday.

Not surprisingly the defensive-minded Evans sees his team as a defensive one but has been proud how each unit has picked the other up.

"I'm a defensive guy so I believe, but last week we gave up 42-points, we knew they were going to have some success. At one point it was 28-7 and then they started going real well and they scored a lot of points. Whenever we are down, our offense is up, and the same when they are down. We carry each other, we are doing great," Evans stated.

So now it's just time to prepare for 12-time state champions Jenks Trojans who are seeking their first title since 2007.

"The coaches have already have up film and I've watched film on my own and from what I've seen Jenks is really good and I know they are because they've made it to the state championship," he said. "They've got the RB (Treyvonne Barre, (Jordan) Smallwood, Steven Parker.

"Jordan Smallwood is committed to Oklahoma and Parker is just a junior and has a bunch of offers. They are all great players, I'm pretty sure they are contributing to Jenks but how great they are won't let us lose track of what we're trying to do."

The obvious storyline, as it is every year, is whether or not a 6A team from the West side of the state is finally prepared to end Jenks and rival Union's reign of complete dominance that began with a Jenks title in 1996. Evans says that the possibility of ending 'the streak' isn't anywhere near their focus but he does realize that it's an inevitable point of interest for many Oklahoma City area fans.

"We're focused on ourselves, we're here representing Norman North but I feel as the people that are supporting us," he said. "For the people with us, it's the west side. At the moment we've made history for Norman North. No other North team has gone to the state finals, we've done that. We're 12-1 and no other North team has done that. But now we've got to focus on going to win the gold ball," he said.

During the game Evans spent some time around not only the previously-mentioned Alexander but also soon to be Sooner defensive end D.J. Ward. However, after the game he and the friends he attended with had a review of the Sooner locker room that will take Oklahoma fans back to the days of Tommie Harris' recruitment.

"That's what me and my friends talked about it was so crazy after the game, that locker room was getting crunk."



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