After signing the No. 9 recruiting class in the country, Notre Dame is off to another fast start in the 2022 cycle. So far, the Fighting Irish have earned commitments from seven players, including running back Jadarian Price. The Irish want a second back in the class, and one of the players on the board is Rockwall (Texas) Heath speedster Zach Evans.
Last season, Evans logged a productive campaign to the tune of 1,220 rushing yards (6.2 YPC) and 14 touchdowns while splitting carries with Preston Landis, but the 5-9, 185-pound running back is eager to return to the field and improve on those numbers for his senior year as he continues to add to his growing skill set.
“From my sophomore to junior season, I think that I made a big change in the way I ran the ball,” Evans told SI All-American. “I was running more in between the tackles and not bouncing out so much. I think that I had a good junior season. It really just solidified the fact that I'm a good all-around back. I can catch the ball, run between the tackles, run outside. If you need me in the pass game, I'm there blocking too.”
Evans, who runs track during the Spring, lays claim to 12 offers, but Notre Dame is one of the schools that piques his interest along with Texas and Utah.
“I really have a couple schools that I've focused down on, so it's been easier for me to talk to those certain schools more often than others,” Evans explained. “Those are really my top three when it comes down to it. I haven't put my [top group] out yet, but I probably will soon.”
Ever since Evans picked up a scholarship offer from Notre Dame, running backs coach Lance Taylor back in January, the blue chip prospect has been learning more about the Fighting Irish program, and he likes what he's been hearing so far.
“I talk to Coach Taylor at least two to three times per week,” noted the Heath back. “… he's been just telling me about the education side of it and then the football program and the excellent program that they have. It's a golden standard there. I think that it's been fun just getting to know the coaching staff and the school.
“It's just the gold standard standard at Notre Dame is different,” Evans said. “They expect different from most schools, so it's a different environment.”
At the moment, Evans does not have a firm timeline on when he would like to shut down his recruitment, but he is strongly considering issuing his verbal commitment before the beginning of his senior season. Evans is on track to graduate from Rockwall-Heath early, and committing sometime in the late summer would allow him to focus solely on winning a Texas UIL 6A Division 2 state championship.
“For me, I kind of want to [commit] before the season because I do plan on graduating early this year,” Evans said. “So, I think before the season would be great.”
This coming year, Evans will be the primary running back for the Hawks, so he's optimistic about his goal to reach 1,500 rushing yards, and with a quality offense around him a trip to the state finals seems within reach as well.
Stay tuned to Irish Breakdown as Notre Dame continues to recruit Evans as a potential member of its 2022 class.
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