Brendon Evers Had a Long Road Back Onto the Field for the Pokes
STILLWATER – We’ve seen a resurgence of Oklahoma high school players being recruited and signed by Oklahoma State over the past few seasons, with a rather fond interest in Bixby High School. There are currently five players from Bixby on the roster, three of which who are on scholarship: CB Jordan Reagan, WR Clayton Barbour (WO), WR Brennan Presley, WR Cade Cavender (WO) and DT Brendon Evers.
Brendon Evers showed a lot of promise out of high school, but injuries have played a prominent role in the redshirt junior’s career while in Stillwater, especially this past season. He played in 10 games for the Pokes, recording just six tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Following Oklahoma State’s 24-21 loss to Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl, Evers had surgery to repair the injury, which meant some of the recovery time came during the shutdown that began in March.
"I feel great, or as good as I good be after two games,” Evers said in a Zoom call with the media on Wednesday. Body's holding up well. With the way the world is right now, I was able to rehab in Tulsa during the hardest part of COVID and stuff like that and I got with some really good people there. And of course, partnered with [strength] coach [Rob] Glass every day. We were able to knock out a plan and it really worked for me, worked for him and the trainers as well. I just want to thank everyone that got me back really. It was a hard recovery, but it was one I think I'm better for."
A hard recovery that nearly forced Evers to hang up his helmet and cleats for good.
"I definitely went up and down with my mental state,” said Evers. “It's something we don't really talk about in this game a lot, but when injuries hit, you just got to get through it. There was times when I contemplated leaving school. There was times I contemplated just being done with football in general, but luckily I had a great support staff, a lot of great teammates that saw me through. Forever grateful for that. If it wasn't for the great support staff, I don't know if I'd still be where I am today."
Evers worked hard throughout the offseason to get his body and mind back to where it was pre-injury. Work that has earned him a spot back into the rotation with significant minutes and playing time in the first two games of the season.
During those two games against Tulsa and West Virginia, Evers has recorded three tackles, two of which have been solo stops, and one quarterback hurry.
"It means a lot,” Evers said of his playing time through the first two games of the season. “It's a lot of trust they had to put in me. I think a lot of people weren't really certain of where I was going to be after two major injuries last year. Heck, I wasn't even really sure myself at times. I think it just speaks to the hard work that we put in in the offseason. That's what it means to the coaches. They saw all the hard work that I put in and was able to prove to them that I can be a real factor on this defense."
Oklahoma State is back in action this Saturday, Oct. 3 against Kansas on the road in Lawrence. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.