2020 Season Countdown: #16.5 Chris Evans

Tag: Chris Evans

28Sep 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #16.5 Chris Evans

Chris Evans (image via Wolverines Wire)

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Name: Chris Evans
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 216 lbs.
High school: Indianapolis (IN) Ben Davis
Position: Running back
Class: Fifth year senior
Jersey number: #12
Last year he played (2018): I ranked Evans #15 and said he would be a backup running back with 120 carries for 650 yards and 5 touchdowns with 22 catches for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran 81 times for 423 yards (5.2 yards/carry) and 4 touchdowns, plus 18 catches for 148 yards and 1 touchdown.
TTB Rating: 68

Okay, every year I screw up and leave someone off the countdown, having to fix it halfway through once I realize my mistake. I thought I was doing well this year, because I made DOUBLE SURE to include every 2020 signee and carry over every roster member from 2019. But of course, Chris Evans wasn’t a signee and wasn’t on the 2019 roster, so I had to wedge him in here after I realized my mistake.

Evans took a step back in his true junior season of 2018, going from 600+ rushing yards in each of his first two seasons to just 423 yards in 2018. However, he did reach a career high in receptions (18) while watching Karan Higdon handle the starter’s workload. The coaching staff really seemed unable to get him going, with his only successful games coming in blowouts or mismatches (SMU, Rutgers, Western Michigan, etc.). It was the first year he did not reach 100 yards in at least one game, with a high of 86 coming against the MAC’s yearly sacrifice, the Broncos.

This year I decided to place Evans at #16.5, a few spots higher than Zach Charbonnet (LINK), not because I think Evans will be the starter or take a plurality of the workload. The reason is that I think Evans opens up some more possibilities for the offense. He’s the best receiver out of Michigan’s backfield, and Josh Gattis’s offense is a knockoff of systems that have used running backs in the passing game more often than what we saw Michigan use in 2019. Saquon Barkley caught 54 passes at Penn State. Alabama’s top two backs caught 22 and 20 passes in 2018 when Gattis was there. Even the forgettable Bill Belton caught 26 passes for Penn State back in 2014.

Michigan running backs totaled 20 catches in 2019, led by Charbonnet’s grand total of 8.

Assuming Gattis wants to replicate the more diverse passing game we’ve seen in other versions of this offense, I think Evans will pair well with Charbonnet in the backfield. I would like to see both of them on the field at the same time, and I would like to see Evans used in the RPO game as a slot receiver. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, but I think it would be a mistake to just use one running back at a time when the Wolverines have three guys available with starting experience (Charbonnet, Evans, and Hassan Haskins).

Michigan’s most talented non-freshman skill guys are the following group, so I would try to get them together whenever possible:

  • WR Ronnie Bell
  • WR Giles Jackson
  • RB Zach Charbonnet
  • RB Chris Evans
  • TE Nick Eubanks

Prediction: Backup running back

Here are some highlights to remind you of some of his ability:

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27Mar 2019
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Nightly Roundup: March 27, 2019

Chris Evans

The Detroit News reports on what suspended running back Chris Evans is up to right now (LINK).

What role will the tight ends have in Josh Gattis’s offense (LINK)?

Purdue is honoring superfan Tyler Trent by naming the student entrance after him (LINK). That’s a classy move by the Boilermakers.

Hit the jump for more.

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7Mar 2019
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Poll results: Which 2016 prospect will have the best career at running back for Michigan?

I was going through drafts of old posts, and I happened to come across this post from 2016. It answers (answered?) the question of which 2016 recruit would have the best career at running back for Michigan.

Here are the results:

Kareem Walker (530 votes): Walker redshirted in 2016 and then got 20 carries for 68 yards (3.4 YPC) and 1 touchdown in 2017. By 2018 he was playing at a junior college, and now he’s headed to Mississippi State.

Kingston Davis (305 votes): Davis did not redshirt, and carried the ball 2 times for 17 yards (8.5 YPC) against Hawaii in 2016. Unfortunately, he never ran the ball again, transferred to Independence Community College, and then played a few games at UAB before he was dismissed for allegedly doing illegal things.

Khaleke Hudson (175 votes): Hudson has totaled 135 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 11 pass breakups playing the Viper position, a hybrid safety/linebacker. He has not taken a snap on the offensive side of the ball even though he was a very productive running back in high school.

Chris Evans (95 votes): The fourth place finisher in the poll finishes as the obviously correct choice to the question. Evans has 304 carries for 1,722 yards (5.7 YPC) and 14 touchdowns in three seasons, along with having 40 catches for 392 yards (9.8 yards/catch) and 2 touchdowns.

11Nov 2018
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Michigan 42, Rutgers 7

Chris Evans (image via College Sports Maven)

Rutgers is getting better. Don’t get me wrong – Rutgers isn’t close to being a good team. But they lost to Wisconsin by a score of 31-17, they lost to Northwestern 18-15, and they put up a better fight than most expected against Michigan, even though it ended up a 42-7 blowout. They couldn’t handle Michigan’s defensive front, so they were limited to throwing screens and trying to throw the ball, but they have some capable running backs. And Artur Sitkowski is a former 4-star quarterback, so he’s about the best talent they’re going to get at that position.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

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