Back App’s Evans Stars at Combine

App’s Evans Stars at Combine

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Countless numbers follow Darrynton Evans to the next level, specifically 4,642 all-purpose yards. Add 4.41 to the list.

Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans was one of the stars of the 2020 NFL Combine, a fitting distinction given his remarkable career. As a sophomore and junior for the Mountaineers, Evans was one of the premier players in all of college football. He, as a rare combination of efficiency and explosiveness, came to Indianapolis as a prospect with considerable upside and versatility. Evans left with a 4.41 forty yard dash time, the second-fastest result of any running back, and clear momentum heading into the draft.

All that Evans did at the combine was impressive. At 5'10'', 203 pounds, he, in addition to having one of the event's top forty yard dash times overall, finished in the top ten amongst all running backs with 20 bench press repetitions and a 37-inch vertical leap,notably ranking sixth with a 125-inch broad jump. Having already proven to be historically productive, Evans, working out with his peers, looked fast and strong for good measure.

While some have said Evans introduced himself over the weekend, his performance was more an exclamation point than entrance.

Evans, the last two years, had seasons the likes of which college football, quite frankly, has rarely before seen. As a redshirt sophomore, Evans became one of just three players the past 20 years with at least 1,100 yards rushing, 6.5 yards per carry and 32 yards per kickoff return. His encore showing was even more staggering; Evans is the only player in a generation with 1,400 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score in a single fall.

Despite going pro after his junior season at Appalachian State, Evans, C.J. Spiller and Rashaad Penny are the only three players this millennium with career totals of 2,800 rushing yards, 25, rushing touchdowns and three kickoff returns for score; Spiller and Penny were both first round draft picks.  

In addition to Evans going down as one of the most accomplished players in recent college football memory, there is a lot to like about his prospect status as well. Evans, as those at his position almost have to be in today's game, is versatile; that multi-faceted ability may be his biggest strength. Well beyond capable of being just a number one back in the running game as he showed with 2,540 yards in 23 games as a feature back, Evans has been both a playmaker in the passing game, he actually started 2018 camp as a slot receiver, and a star on special teams. That feature only adds to his value as the draft approaches.

A big play waiting to happen, Evans had eleven runs of at least 50 yards the past two years. He scored 34 total touchdowns in his career. Moreso than most of his peers, Evans, who can play multiple positions, can impact the game a variety of different ways. His ability came with All-Sun Belt honors at three different positions last season alone. Evans, a comprehensive student-athlete, also earned academic all-district recognition. Quite literally, he can do it all.  

Coming from a power program in Appalachian State, Evans also knows what it takes to win. The Mountaineers went an astonishing 34-5 in games he played. In outings where Evans had at least 18 rushing attempts, Appalachian State went 12-0; in contests where he scored a touchdown, the Mountaineers went 17-1. Evans helped his program win four Sun Belt championships and three bowl games. Twice he was the conference championship game MVP and, in his final game, was the MVP of the New Orleans Bowl. 

Evans has worked hard to get to where he is. Overcoming a knee injury that forced him to miss the 2017 season, Evans, upon coming back, rallied to become one of college football's best players. He remains a man on a mission.

Countless numbers follow Evans to the next level, specifically 4,642 all-purpose yards. Add 4.41 to the list. Just as his profile did at Appalachian State, Evans' draft stock, looking ahead to April, is correspondingly on the rise. A superstar with career numbers that stand out and stand alone, Evans is now getting the attention he deserves.

In a draft full of playmakers, the versatile Evans, fresh off a dynamic combine showing, is turning heads. His sprint started long ago.

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