June 1st coming up on the calendar doesn't mean Notre Dame is only hosting high school prospects, as the Irish will also get a top graduate transfer on campus. Irish Breakdown has learned that Notre Dame will be hosting Tulsa graduate transfer cornerback Akayleb Evans for a visiting beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, June 2).
The 6-2, 188-pound cornerback finished with 29 tackles and three pass break ups while playing nine games during the 2020 season and was expected to be one of the top corners in the AAC next season before he announced his intention to transfer.
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.
Unlike most grad transfers, Evans actually has two seasons of eligibility remaining thanks to gaining a medical hardship in 2019 and then getting an extra year from Covid-19 in 2020.
*** 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.
This was first reported by Tom Loy of 247Sports.
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