Desmond Evans came to UNC last year as one of the most highly-rated players in the recruiting class. He wasted no time, playing as a true freshman last season.
Evans logged 170 snaps on defense and got into 10 games, starting three. Like many young players on the defense, his playing time increased as the season went on, allowing the Tar Heel defense to build depth, particularly up front.
Evans is listed as an outside linebacker, but he’s more of an edge rusher and has worked with the defensive linemen in practice, in addition to his work with the linebacker corps.
“I’m working on staying low,” he said of his priority while practicing with the ends. “I’ve got to be real low to get off the ball. Working with the defensive line helps me to stay low.”
Evans had 10 tackles last year, with two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry. His numbers should increase along with his playing time this season.
To help accomplish that, he’s been working on his technique in the offseason.
“Getting my pads low,” he said of his priorities. “Getting off the ball and my hands—my hand work.”
Evans has also bulked up. A high school basketball player, he’s filling into his frame as a college pass rusher and appears to have added about 30 pounds of muscle in the offseason.
“Just eating right, drinking water, eating fruit,” he said. “I’m a big man. I’ll eat anyway. I’ve been eating three meals a day plus a snack and two snacks during the night, then sleep on it and just keep working out.”