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Evans Starring for App State

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Picking up right where Jalin Moore left off, Darrynton Evans has given Appalachian State a spark.

With star Jalin Moore out for the rest of the year following ankle surgery, Appalachian State entered the second half of the season without one of its best players. In the Mountaineers' first game without Moore, Darrynton Evans, who redshirted last year with his own injury concerns, promptly stepped in and stepped up. Making just career start number two, Evans rushed 26 times for 183 yards and a score, adding a 20-yard receiving touchdown. Already a dynamic playmaker for Appalachian State, Evans is now a key team leader.

This season, alone, Evans has scored three touchdowns rushing, one through the air and another, 100 yards to the house at Penn State, on a kick return. Since 2000, he is college football's lone player to accomplish such six games into a season. Only three players displayed such versatility all of last year and the two of them who moved on to the next level, Saquon Barkley and Rashad Penny, were both selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In replacing Moore, Evans has been a revelation. He ran 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown at Arkansas State, the game where Moore went down, then just set career highs in carries and yards against Louisiana. Evans scored twice in the first half against the Ragin' Cajuns and opened the second half with a 65-yard burst, setting a new career long after a 57-yard dash the week prior, on the second play from scrimmage. What the versatile Evans brings to the field is big-play potential.

Add in a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the 2016 Camellia Bowl and Evans has reached the endzone six times, via three different ways, in his last seven games.

At 5-1, Appalachian State moves forward as one of the top teams in all of Power Five football. Evans, in that spotlight, suddenly has a starring role. Entering a stretch of three straight road games, including a critical Thursday night showdown at rival Georgia Southern, he, along with Marcus Williams, Jr. and D'Andre Hicks, are poised to carry the load. Evans was the difference-maker for the Mountaineers in a win over Louisiana and will have the chance to add to his growing resume in the weeks to come.    

Picking up right where Moore left off, Evans has given Appalachian State a spark. He, overcoming injuries in both high school and college, has worked hard for all of his opportunities. Now, Evans is making the most of them.

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