Staying close to home and contending for a national championship. Ultimately, those factors were too tempting for Arico Evans to pass up.
That’s why the Hillcrest quarterback signed a football scholarship with TCU on Wednesday after an official visit to the Fort Worth campus in late January.
Evans originally had given a verbal pledge to Kansas, and also had offers from Arkansas and Texas Tech, among others.
With the Horned Frogs, Evans is expected to become a safety, a position he hasn’t played before. But he’s confident his skill set will be a fit for TCU’s aggressive defensive scheme.
“My size and strength will help me,” Evans said. “With how the TCU defense is, their safeties have the same instincts as a quarterback.”
Evans rushed for 1,358 yards and 17 touchdowns last season to help the Panthers finish 9-1 during the regular season and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010. He also passed for 1,076 yards and 17 scores.
TCU capped off a 12-1 season by rolling past Mississippi in the Peach Bowl and finishing third in the final Associated Press rankings.
“This kid is a winner. He knows what it takes to get the job done on and off the field,” said TCU assistant coach Rusty Burns. “He has an edge to him on top of the fact that he has the ability to play several different positions.”
Three other Hillcrest players signed with junior-college programs on Wednesday. Jeremy Lwate will attend Tyler Junior College, while twins Makell and Terell Haley will play for Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.
The siblings have never been to the campus in rural southern Utah, and both admit it will take some time to adjust to the new surroundings.
“We heard it’s a boring town, but we’re just trying to go there to play football and get our education,” Makell said. “It will be a hard pill to swallow as far as leaving Texas, but with each other there, we can make it.”