As always, the offensive line position was an early priority for Mike Leach and the Cougars, but unlike always, it dissipated over the course of the 2014 recruiting cycle. In all, three potential offensive linemen recanted their commitments and left the Cougars with an interesting quandary for the class.
With the 2013 class turning out surprisingly over the course of the Fall practice season, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal that the Cougs didn’t get all their guys here. Brandon Evers, for one, says “thank you very much” as he takes a spot by signing with Washington State on Wednesday. He is one of only two expected on the day and with Sean Krepsz already on campus, one of three expected in the 2014 class.
The big 6’7, 290 lbs kid out of a smaller high school in Redding, CA (Enterprise) was not highly recruited but Leach likes his size and quick feet. Going back to the early theme of recruiting at the offensive tackle position since Leach arrived, this seems to be a trend.
As mentioned, Evers be playing offensive tackle but a fun thing to watch on his defensive highlight tape is him playing as a stand-up defensive end. The size difference between him and everybody else on the field is intrusively evident.
There is definitely some learning and technique work to do still, as you can see Evers is not used to using pad level or really setting up to absorb contact. At this stage he plays too high, with too close of a base and is too much of a “catch” OT, as opposed to either a “reacting” or “attacking” OT. In high school you can often get away with that, but in college you’ll end up in your quarterback’s lap, which of course is the worst possible scenario in a pass-happy offense. The 2-star rating seems well deserved here but there is a good chance Evers could turn into one of the gems of the class if he can take the teachings and apply them.
However size is something that you can’t teach and he certainly has it, along with being a top-of-his-class student. His upside is tremendous. Welcome to the Cougar family Brandon Evers!