NORMAN — Oklahoma sophomore linebacker Jordan Evans could be on the verge of a breakout season in 2014.
When 2013 leading tackler Frank Shannon missed the spring game, Evans stepped in and looked good. The former Norman North standout recorded eight tackles last October against Texas Tech when Shannon went down with an injury.
Shannon’s return is highly questionable after a recent sexual assault allegation, likely leaving Evans as the Sooners’ starting middle linebacker.
Evans spoke with reporters after the spring game April 12 about his maturation, adjusting to college football and adapting to OU’s defense.
Q: How do you feel like this defense fits your skill set?
A: I don’t think it individually fits me. I feel like I finally grew into the system. Me personally, I had to get with the program. It’s not the defense growing around me, it’s more me growing into the defense.
Have you made a shift mentally?
Oh yeah. … Mentally, I've got to be ready for that speed, and mentality-wise I've got to know that I've got to do this for the guys next to me because I know they’re going to get their job done and I need to get mine done.
What are you doing differently?
I feel like I work way harder. Take it a lot more serious. The season’s about to be around and I might have more impact this year, so I know I need to be more serious and take it more on myself to make more plays and help out my team.
Has it ever dawned on you just how fast all of this has come for you?
Me and the guys always talk about, “I feel like it was just yesterday I was coming here,” but at the same time I feel like I've been here for awhile. Everyday you've just got to take it in and be blessed where you’re at.