Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, a finalist for the 2013 Biletnikoff Award, will bypass his final two seasons of eligibility and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, Evans and A&M coach Kevin Sumlin announced Thursday. Evans, a third-year sophomore and consensus All-American, caught 69 passes for a school-record 1,394 yards (20.2 per catch) and 12 touchdowns. Evans has been projected to be selected in the middle of the first round.
_ Jimmy Burch
NOTE: Below is a look at the full announcement from A&M officials, with quotes from Sumlin and Evans:
Record-setting Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans will forego his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin announced on Thursday.
Evans, a redshirt sophomore from BallHigh School in Galveston, Texas, was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and consensus All-American in 2013, and he was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the top receiver in college football.
“It’s been a pleasure watching Mike’s development as a receiver and a person the past two seasons,” Sumlin said. “Mike was one of the team’s hardest workers in whatever he was doing, and it paid off for him on the field. I think one of the highest compliments you can say about Mike is that he plays as hard when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as when he does. Texas A&M wishes him the best as he moves on to the next chapter in his life.”
Despite playing just one season of high school football, the athletic and physical Evans was a dominant force for the Aggies. Evans broke or matched multiple school records in 2013 including single game receiving yards (twice), single game receiving touchdowns, season receiving yards and season receiving touchdowns.
“After talking things over with Coach Sumlin and my family I have decided to enter the NFL draft,” Evans said. “Thanks go to Texas A&M for giving me an opportunity to play college football. Thanks also to my coaches and teammates for helping me develop as a player and as a man. I made this decision based on what I thought was best for myself and my family.”
He took down one of the oldest records in school annals when he exploded for 279 yards against then-top-ranked Alabama, which eclipsed the old mark of 250 yards set by Ken “Dude” McLean against Texas in 1965. A few weeks later, Evans broke the record again with 287 yards against Auburn. He also had four receiving touchdowns against the Tigers, which matched the school record originally set by Ryan Swope against Baylor in 2011.
For the 2013 season, Evans gained a school record 1,394 receiving yards on 69 catches with an impressive 20.2 per catch average.The consummate big-play threat, Evans was the only receiver in FBS with more than 45 catches to average more than 20 yards per catch, and he led the nation with 17 catches of 30+ yards and ranked No. 2 nationally with 28 catches of 20+ yards. He also reeled in 12 touchdown catches, which matched the school record originally set by Jeff Fuller in 2010.
He started all 26 games of his two-year career at Texas A&M. A model of consistency, Evans had at least two catches in every game he played and at least four catches in 25 of 26 contests. He finished with 151 catches (No. 5 in school history) for 2,499 yards (No. 4) and 17 touchdowns (No. 5).