Jordan Evans was surprised a year ago when Norman North's new coaching staff asked him to switch positions.
Evans had been a cornerback since coming up from little league.
But when Wade Standley took over the Timberwolves, he quickly deciding shifting Evans up to linebacker was the right move.
Now, a year later, Evans is generating more and more attention at the position and is No. 24 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruiting list.
“When Coach Standley moved me, he told me I'd be a great player there,” Evans said. “My mindset changed from that moment and I believed him.”
Evans might've believed him, but that doesn't mean the transition was smooth.
“It was tough at first,” Evans said. “It was quite a bit different. I didn't have to be as physical at corner as I do now but I love it.”
It wasn't until the first game of his junior season, a 28-21 loss to heavily favored rival Norman, that Evans felt like he was completely comfortable with the switch.
“Spring ball and camps were OK, but it's totally different than being there in a game,” Evans said. “At linebacker, I'm more involved. I have better opportunities to make plays and create my own plays instead of having to have everything come to me. At corner, you always have to be ready but most of the time you have to get a play to come your way.”
The switch paid off on the field, as Evans had 87 tackles and a pair of sacks as a junior. It has also translated into greater attention from college coaches.
Strong performances through the early part of summer have earned him offers from Navy, New Mexico, South Dakota and, most recently, Ohio.
More offers figure to come shortly as Evans emerges from a sleeper to one of the top defensive players in a deep class of recruits in the state for the 2013 class.
Because of the switch, Evans expected to take awhile to draw attention from programs.
“I knew that would happen,” he said. “Flying under the radar doesn't matter to me. I feel good about what I've accomplished so far.”
The biggest thing Evans is working on this summer is staying low.
“My pad level is usually pretty high so I'm trying to get that fixed,” Evans said. “I'm working on that, my explosion and just the basics — getting stronger and faster.”
Evans is continuing his busy summer, trying to squeeze in trips to Kansas State, Iowa State and New Mexico before fall practice begins.
Kansas State figures to be a definite, but the other two could prove tricky.
“It's always been my dream to play college football,” Evans said. “I always had it in me and I never want to fall short of my goals, but after making the move and seeing what I was able to do, that's when I started to realize that this really could happen.”
The Oklahoman's Super 30
The Oklahoman's Super 30 feature series on the state's top football recruits continues with No. 24, Norman North linebacker Jordan Evans.
No. 24: Jordan Evans
School: Norman North
Recruited by: Offers include Navy, Ohio and New Mexico