|Newbury Park defensive back Marques Evans is aiming to become the next Class of 2017 prospect to stack the scholarships now that National Signing Day for the 2016 class has wrapped up (photo by Lorenzo Reyna).|
Now that the Class of 2016 has rode off into the college football recruiting sunset, many prospects in the 2017 class are itching to see their name land on a college football program’s radar.
Newbury Park High’s Marques Evans – who hasn’t been offered a scholarship yet – is one of those ’17 players aiming to stack the offers.
One way he advertises his name to recruiters is by latching on with the Pro Way – the club team that’s led by the vision of former NFL running back Darick Holmes and features 2017 studs Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Darnay Holmes.
Evans is seen going toe-to-toe against the dynamic receiving duo; as well as the other Ventura County, Los Angeles County and Central Valley talent that the Pro Way brings out during practices at Calabasas High. Because Evans has the ability to backpedal, press and cover against the Pro Way’s top receivers, it gets him to send this message to college coaches who are looking for a cover corner:
“If I can go against them, I can go against anybody,” Evans said. “They’re the best in the Class of 2017 and I hope I can be as good as them. Going against them each day is a blessing.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound cornerback finds himself watching his peers pile the pledges - plus witness his sophomore quarterback Cameron Rising already receive offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Houston and Michigan.
Evans, though, doesn’t sound impatient about his own recruiting process.
“I’m just waiting for my time,” Evans said. “Yeah, I feel like I’m a little overlooked, but it gives me motivation to work harder.”
Evans said he’s in contact with some PAC-12 schools. Saying: “I’m in contact with UCLA and Washington right now. UCLA coaches direct message me on Twitter.” Evans adds that Oregon State has shown interest.
He credits the Pro Way and the atmosphere Holmes provides during practices for helping mold Evans into the player that he is today.
“The Pro Way is honestly one of the best things to happen to me,” Evans said. “I’ve been working with Darick since I was seven. He’s like an uncle to me. He’s part of the reason why I’m here today along with the other coaches. I would highly recommend the Pro Way to any guy in Ventura County.
“They break you down and build you back up,” Evans continued. “Right now, I’m working on getting a lot more aggressive because that’s one of my weak points. Just using my arms and length to my advantage against these receivers.”
He’s not just lacing up his cleats right now to prepare for his senior year or make his recruiting push, but he finds the time to watch highlight videos of his two favorite NFL cornerbacks: Josh Norman of the Carolina Panthers and Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“With Josh Norman, I find my game to be really similar to his. With Marcus Peters, he’s a man coverage dude and I see myself as a man dude,” Evans said. “And with Norman, he’s a ball hawk. He’s always around the ball and I see myself as someone who’s a ball hawk.”
During Friday night games in the 805’s south region, Evans emerged as the Panthers’ top island corner; covering and hovering over receivers and forcing opposing quarterbacks to throw the football away from his side.
With his size and overall skillset, it’s bewildering for some people to see an offer-less Evans. Yet Evans is confident that he’ll be the next Panther and Pro Way prospect to break out during the new recruiting period.
Said Evans: “I’ve just got to stay patient. My time is going to come.”