LSU Football: Why 5-star RB Zach Evans didn’t end up in Baton Rouge

LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LSU football's Tiger Stadium (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

LSU football had 2020 five-star running back Zach Evans on their board until late in the recruiting cycle.

It’s not often that programs move on from five-star recruits, but that’s exactly what LSU football did with running back Zach Evans.

The Houston native was rated as the No. 2 running back in the nation in 247Sports’ composite rankings.

But his wild recruitment has left him as the highest rated 2020 recruit that isn’t currently signed to a program.

Evans initially signed with Georgia during the early signing period, but he was released from his National Letter of Intent in early January for undisclosed reasons.

Because Evans signed a NLI in December, he can’t sign another one — even though he was released from his NLI with Georgia.

That essentially means that his recruitment won’t be over until he enrolls at a school later this summer.

LSU was a big factor for Evans during the fall. In fact, 247Sports recently reported that Evans privately told LSU’s staff that he was “on board” before the early signing period.

The Tigers, however, never felt confident in Evans.

After Evans was released from his NLI by Georgia, he (or someone close to him) reportedly reached out to LSU to gauge their interest.

The Tigers were no longer interested when Evans reached out in January. LSU quickly moved on to Kavontre Bradford, who signed with the Tigers on National Signing Day.

Basically, LSU saw what happened during Evans’ initial recruitment. And they weren’t willing to waste resources, or a 2020 spot, on a player who wasn’t going to decide anything until May at the soonest.

Ed Orgeron and the Tigers made the smart move to take Bradford, a four-star running back from Texas, and end their pursuit of Evans.

I think Evans will probably be a very good player in college. But I also think LSU was wise to back off.

One player isn’t going to win a championship (minus Cam Newton in 2010 at Auburn, but I digress). Continuing to pursue Evans into the spring would’ve been a waste of recruiting man power for LSU — especially if Evans landed elsewhere.

The programs that are heavily pursuing Evans now — mainly Ole Miss and Tennessee — desperately need to land an impact player.

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LSU is fortunate to have several impact players already on the roster. Evans would’ve been a luxury for Orgeron and the Tigers.

And sometimes, it’s best to know when to pass on a luxury.

LSU chose to pass at the right time.