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Oklahoma football: How linebacker Tay Evans returned to football and could earn playing time as a freshman

Evans’ father, Bobby Joe, was a basketball player for the Sooners in the mid-90s, and basketball was Tay’s sport of choice after a frustrating sophomore year of football caused him to walk away from the sport.
by Ryan Aber Published: May 31, 2014

“There’s zero pressure,” Westerberg told him. “All we want you to do is come try and see what it’s like as a varsity football player. If you don’t like it, it’s no harm, no foul.”

It didn’t take long for Tay to fit right in and figure out that football could be his future.

“I think it was a relief to know that he could come and he’s not going to disappoint anybody whatever decision that he made,” Cain said. “So once he came and tried, he discovered real fast that he was going to have fun and then the more he played, he discovered how good he was.”

As Tay got stronger playing football, basketball became a bit more frustrating.

“He was playing defense and a lot of the guys couldn’t get around him and they would bump into him but he wasn’t moving,” Bobby Joe said. “They were calling fouls on him. He played that one weekend and then he realized, ‘Hey Dad, I can’t play this sport any more. It’s too soft now. They’re calling fouls on me all the time and I’m not touching the dudes.’”

Tay wanted to play college football with his younger brother Bobby.

The Sooners didn’t have to do too much selling once they made offers to the two brothers.

Last summer, in the span of a little more than a week, Tay and Bobby committed to the Sooners.

“The fact that OU offered us, that was just a given,” Tay said. “We were already going to OU.”

Bobby is a 2015 offensive line commitment.

Just months after the badgering from Cain helped bring him back to football, Tay helped Allen win a state title.

The next day, Tay sent Cain a text.

“Thank you for believing in me,” it said.

“I’ll be honest with you, it brought me to tears man,” Cain said. “It dang melted me. But that’s what this profession’s all about. It’s about those little things like that.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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