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App State’s Darrynton Evans on Historic Run

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Appalachian State's Darrynton Evans finished last season as one of the hottest running backs in the country, rushing for 1,060 yards over the final nine games of the year, including four consecutive 100-yard games to close out the schedule.

Appalachian State's Darrynton Evans finished last season as one of the hottest running backs in the country, rushing for 1,060 yards over the final nine games of the year, including four consecutive 100-yard games to close out the schedule. Two weeks into this season, he now leads the nation rushing. Evans, despite not yet having 20 carries in a single game, paces college football with 333 yards, 10.09 yards per carry, the highest rate for any back with more than 18 attempts, and is tied for third with four touchdowns.

For good measure, Evans has also taken a kickoff back for a touchdown, one of just seven players in the country to do so to date.

In Appalachian State's recent win over Charlotte, Evans had one an individual performance for the record books. He ran 19 times for 234 yards and three touchdowns and, in unique fashion, returned a kick for a score. Start to finish, Saturday's game was all about Evans; he opened the contest with a 87-yard touchdown dash on the very first play from scrimmage, later ending the game by taking an onsides kick back for six. If this was a signature showcase for Evans, he autographed every page.

After a rare stretch, Evans is now off to an all-time start.

Evans is currently the only player this millennium with 200 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return for score in a single game. For frame of reference, the closest player to that distinction before Evans was NFL superstar Todd Gurley, who met those minimums with 198 rushing yards for Georgia against Clemson back in 2014.  

Rolling Evans' recent production into the equivalent of one full regular season, he has 1,454 rushing yards over his last dozen games. In that theoretical 12-week span, he is averaging over 7.3 yards per attempt. Given the current standard for Appalachian State, however, 14 outings seems like a more accurate measure. Upcoming tests with undefeated North Carolina and Coastal Carolina to open Sun Belt play await as high-profile opportunities for Evans to add to his already-remarkable total.

For all of the numbers Evans has compiled, wins might be the most impressive. Notably, Appalachian State is 10-0 when he has rushed for at least 65 yards.

The reigning Sun Belt rushing leader and Sun Belt Championship Game MVP simply continues to add to his legacy. A big play waiting to happen, Evans, in 2018, ranked second nationally in kickoff return average, third in runs of at least 50 yards and fourth in runs of at least 20 yards. For an encore, all he is currently doing is leading the country in rushing as college football's most productive and proficient playmaker.

At a tradition-rich program with numerous legendary names, Evans is making a name for himself and making history along the way.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports