LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Surveying his group of Golden Tornadoes last August, coach Todd Breland knew Xavier Evans would be a playmaker for Laurel.
He just needed to find a way to get No. 10 on the field.
"He started off at slot receiver first game,” Breland said. “Just a few games into the year he became the starting quarterback and we never looked back."
With that year of experience under his belt, Evans commands the Laurel offense like a seasoned general in 2019. The 5-foot-8 bruiser makes plays with his arm and his legs – as seen in the Tornadoes’ win over Hattiesburg on Friday.
The junior passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 111 yards and two more scores.
“I've learned a lot,” Evans said. “You have to trust your line, trust your instincts. See what you see, use your eyes."
"Last time we weighed him we got him at 198 [pounds] so he's compact,” Breland said. “We're going to feed him up a little bit, see if we can get him to 200. He’s as strong as any lineman we have on the field. Being that compact with those strong legs, he’s tough to get on the ground.”
Not only is Evans learning how to play quarterback, but he’s learning how to lead a football team. His quiet reserve turns into a rumble on Friday night’s.
“He’s an ultra-competitor and he does things the right way,” Breland said. “Comes to work every day, he’s coachable and he can take coaching – the good and the bad. He’s a leader of our team.”
“I feel I can step up to the challenge, I have to,” Evans said. “I’ve been here since ninth grade. I’ve just been building on last year, year after year. I have a bigger role now, the team’s counting on me.”