LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - As the 2020 fall football season approaches, so nears the last go-round for high school seniors.
With the absence of spring ball, there’s been a little more urgency at summer workouts around the Pine Belt.
Laurel’s Xavier Evans is one of those seniors excited to be back on a football field. The talented Tornado tweeted on Thursday his commitment to Arkansas State University.
The running back will be taking the same route as Omar Bayless – from Jones County to Jonesboro. Bayless signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers in April after claiming the Sun Belt’s 2019 Player of the Year award.
“Omar set the bar high for Laurel people at Arkansas State so I feel like I can go and exceed and live up to the expectation,” Evans said.
Former Southern Miss assistant coach Desmond Lindsey coaches the Red Wolves running backs and played a major role in recruiting Evans.
Lindsey is a Laurel native who played high school football at Taylorsville alongside Jason Campbell.
"Coach Lindsey gave me a virtual tour,” Evans said. “He Facetimed me, gave me a tour of the campus and the staff they had. They reached out just about every day – him, coach [Keith Heckendorf], coach [Blake] Anderson. It made me feel at home.”
Evans played quarterback for Laurel last season, passing and rushing for over 1,500 yards and 31 touchdowns.
He’s eager to return to his more natural position in the backfield – where Arkansas State expects him to play.
“I set a goal for myself at running back,” Evans said. “When they moved me to running back last year, I said it felt at home. I like running back.”