Notre Dame Makes Top 5 For Tulsa Graduate Transfer Cornerback

Notre Dame has made the Top 5 for Tulsa grad transfer Akayleb Evans
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Notre Dame has made the Top 5 for Tulsa grad transfer cornerback Akayleb Evans. The Irish made the list with Texas, Missouri, Texas Tech and Jackson State.

According to sources, Notre Dame likes its cornerback depth chart but Evans is simply too good not to pursue. He played against Cincinnati in each of the last two seasons, which means Notre Dame coordinator Marcus Freeman is familiar with what he brings to the game.

Here's what I've previously written about Evans:

The 6-2, 188-pound cornerback finished with 29 tackles and three pass break ups while playing nine games during the 2020 season.

An 11-game starter his first two seasons at Tulsa, Evans missed all but three games in 2019 with a shoulder injury. He returned for the 2020 season and started nine games. Evans racked up a combined 47 tackles and six break ups in his first two seasons before the injury.

According to Pro Football Focus, Evans gave up 15 completions on 27 attempts this past season for just 166 yards. In 2020, Notre Dame's top cornerback - Nick McCloud - gave up 30 completions on 56 targets for 410 yards.

Evans gave up just 23 completions on 39 attempts for a total of 255 yards in the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined.

Here is my film analysis of Evans:

*** Is primarily a field corner in the base alignment, but the high volume of tempo teams in the AAC has allowed him to gain experience playing in the boundary as well. Also has snaps playing in the slot.

*** Evans is extremely long and physical, both in coverage and against perimeter runs and screens. Flashes good block destruction ability, especially against the run. Gets downhill in a hurry against perimeter throws, both screens and quick game.

*** Plays a lot of man coverage. Patient when pressing, more of a mirror man defender than a jam guy, at least in the games I watched. When he jams his length makes him highly effective, and he shows fast hands in coverage. At times his base gets narrow and it slows down his transitions (both vertically and downhill), but when his technique is right (and its right more often than not) he shows the ability to smoothly open up and run.

*** Length, quickness and route recognition allows him to overcome a lack of elite top-end speed. Plays with very good angles, which combines with his length to make quarterbacks hesitant to challenge him. Very effective against the quick game for this reason, does a great job beating receivers to spots and closing off throwing lanes.

*** More of a lock down cover corner than a playmaker on the ball.

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