But it wasn't long before Evans made great strides and Sumlin changed his opinion.
“Hey,” Sumlin thought, “we've got something here.”
Did they ever.
Evans caught 75 passes for 1,022 yards this fall. His receptions are second-most in a season in school history while his yards are third-most. He has a change to break both school records against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
“I feel like whenever we need to go to a guy and whenever we need to make a play, Mike Evans is the guy you go to because he's so big,” Manziel said. “He's so physical, and he does a great job at getting open.”
What's more, Evans played hurt all season, and the last month-plus of the season, a nagging leg injury limited him to only practice on Thursdays.
But he didn't miss a Saturday.
“It was pretty frustrating,” Evans said. “It held me back some, but I played through it.”
Sumlin said, “For a freshman to do that and perform the way he performed in games ... shows a lot.”