In a shocking announcement this afternoon on Twitter, three-star RB Tiyon Evans of Hartsville, ranked the #1 junior college running back prospect in the nation by 247Sports as he heads into his second season at Hutchinson, KS, announced a commitment to Tennessee over USC. Long thought by recruiting observers to be a lock for the Gamecocks, Evans felt otherwise. And it really had nothing to do with Will Muschamp or the Gamecock football program.
“Me and my family did a lot of research and stuff,” Evans said Thursday afternoon. “Honestly my mom always wanted me out of South Carolina. We’ve been thru so much stuff in South Carolina. My mom been wanting me to leave, and I felt if there was a school other than South Carolina, it was Tennessee.”
Evans said earlier this week USC and Tennessee were his top two schools from his offers which also included Oklahoma State, Houston, Maryland, East Carolina, Western Kentucky and UCF. He did not indicate when he would make a decision, but Thursday the moment was right for him and he made his plans public on Twitter..
“I didn’t tell nobody, I just posted it,” Evans said. “I talked to my mom and stuff. She helped me with my decision a lot. No, I haven’t talked to Tennessee either. I just posted it. They found out by being on Twitter.”
Jeremy Pruitt and company have been on fire in recruiting over the last week. They no doubt were ecstatic when they got word of Evan’s decision.
“Tennessee really has been waiting on me,” Evans said. “That was my first offer. From the jump of recruiting, they knew that I was the guy that they wanted. Since they’ve been recruiting me, they’ve show me that they really wanted me and stuff. It’s a lot of opportunity at Tennessee. It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve never had this kind of opportunity in my life honestly. With me building the relationship with the coaches, I just felt like that was the smart move.”
Living in South Carolina, and knowing the expectations were he was headed to Columbia, Evans expected some blowback from fans on social media regarding his decision. He’s seen the comments and can only respond to them with a SMH. Evans felt he needed to go out of the state as a way of starting to rebuild his public image.
“People are trying to make it like I’m trying to bash my home state,” Evans said. “They’ve just got to understand me by respecting my decision. I had to get away from South Carolina. There’s too much stuff I’ve gone thru out there. It’s deeper than what I’m just talking about on the phone. It’s deeper than that. I’m not comfortable right now with explaining that stuff.”
Evans was one of the state’s top backs in 2018 and played in the Touchstone Energy Bowl North-South Game where he earned Offensive MVP honors for the South after rushing for 142 yards and catching one pass for 53 yards. Last season at Hutchinson, he rushed for 538 yards and 9 touchdowns. He set a Salt City Bowl rushing record with 194 yards and 2 touchdowns.