SI99: Gators Commits Shemar James, Nick Evers Among the Best in America

Two Florida Gators commits - Shemar James and Nick Evers - are in the upper-echelon of 2022 football recruiting prospects nationwide.
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Photo: Shemar James (left) and Nick Evers (right); Credit: Zach Goodall

The annual SI99 rankings are fresh off the press.

Sports Illustrated All-American has compiled its list of the top 99 football prospects in the recruiting class of 2022 after previously debuting positional rankings across the board, based on a mix of game and camp evaluations for each player.

Among the top 99 are two Florida Gators commits: Linebacker Shemar James comes in at the No. 18 overall spot, and quarterback Nick Evers can be found at No. 65 overall.

Both James and Evers impressed the SIAA scouting staff over the summer, beginning with our evaluation of Evers as a top-three quarterback in attendance at the Elite 11 Finals at the conclusion of the event. Later in July, the two would compete at Florida's Friday Night Lights camp and continued to dazzle - Evers and top wide receiver Evan Stewart routinely did damage against opposing defensive backs, while James was the most athletic linebacker and dominant all-around defender on the field.

RELATED: Nick Evers, Evan Stewart recap Friday Night Lights showing

RELATED: Shemar James' performance at Friday Night Lights

You can read both James' and Evers' SIAA evaluations below. James was ranked as the No. 2 linebacker in the nation this year, while Evers came in at No. 9 among the quarterbacks across the country when positional rankings were first unveiled last month. However, Quinn Ewers' reclassification and pending enrollment at Ohio State has since bumped Evers up one spot in the QB rankings.

2. Shemar James

Vitals: 6-2, 220 pounds

School: Navarre (Fla.) High School

Committed To: Florida

2020 Stats: 61 tackles, five sacks, nine TFLs, one INT

James is one of the best football players in the country. That’s not meant to be generally or in regards to his national ranking. What it means is that James is an elite football player, the kind of rare athlete that could thrive on both sides of the ball and at multiple positions. Where his upside is highest is at linebacker, where he has the tools to be an elite defender at the next level. James is an explosive athlete that can drive downhill just as well as he can open up and run sideline-to-sideline. James shows the box power to dominate the run, the speed to attack the perimeter run and outside screen game and his man coverage skills look more like a safety than a linebacker.

9. Nick Evers

Vitals: 6-3, 190 pounds

School: Flower Mound (Texas) High School

Committed To: Florida

2020 Stats: 2,578 passing yards, 66.9%, 21 TD, 6 INT - 218 rush yards, 5 TD

Evers is a smart, poised, savvy quarterback that is just scratching the surface of what he can be. At 6-3 and 190 pounds with plenty of room to fill out, Evers has the kind of body potential you want for a quarterback in the Dan Mullen offense.

Evers throws a gorgeous deep ball and his touch down the field is top-notch. The Flower Mound signal caller can ramp up the RPMs when he needs to, but what makes him so effective is his intelligence, which leads to him showing elite anticipation and timing, and his feel for when to throw it high, when to heat it up and when to throw the ball into open areas for his wideouts to run under the ball is special. Evers understanding of where to put the ball is as good as any quarterback in the class.

Evers is athletic enough to move the chains and do some of the run game that we saw from Kyle Trask at Florida, but he’s not a dynamic runner. He can throw relatively well on the run, but Evers is going to make his living sitting in the pocket, making great reads and picking defenses apart. If he adds more zip as he fills out he will have a shot to climb up this list even higher after the 2021 season.

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