For a Las Vegas kid, Jamaal Evans knows a lot about Utah State. Most Aggie football commits take a visit to the university at least once, but for Evans, USU already feels like a second home.
He knows the campus, is familiar with the town and already has friends on the team.
The 6-foot-3, 205 pound quarterback from Centennial High has been coming to Logan every summer for a decade now. As the son of a high school football coach, he accompanied the team to the football camps at USU.
“I was a ball boy until I was old enough to play in the team camp there,” Evans said. “I just grew up knowing the campus and everything about that school. I just liked the way it developed and the way they built that program. I want to be a part of it.”
That familiarity with the program aided Evans in July when he chose to continue his football career at USU. He played quarterback in high school, but said he may end up as a safety or a number of other positions.
“I’m going to play anywhere they need me,” he said. “Just to get wins.”
Evans has watched the football program – and the stadium that houses it – expand in his time visiting USU. He recognizes the team had a down year, but that doesn’t deter him.
“It doesn’t concern me at all,” he said. “My heart is 100 percent there. They can win one game, I’ll still go there. That’s my team, that’s who I want to play for and that’s where I want to go.”
Evans had a chance to continue playing football in his home state. He received an offer from UNLV and at one point verbally committed to Nevada. He later withdrew and now feels good about his USU decision. In addition to his athletic ability, he feels his high school quarterback position taught him to be a leader. He wants to bring both those attributes to Utah State.
“You have no other choice to be a leader in that position,” he said. “You’re the man in charge. The game, you control everything. You get all the blame, all the credit, it’s on you. You have to take that leadership role and excel in it.”
Evans had an impressive senior season throwing for 2,148 yards and rushing for another 608. His goal is to use his leadership and athletic skills to help USU win Mountain West Conference championships and go to a bowl game each year.
“I want to be the best I can be and help my team win,” he said.
He said he likes the people in Logan and that the coaches made him feel like a part of the family. He is also just interested in a change in surroundings.
“Snow is a big change for me,” he said. “The last time we got snow was 10 years ago. It’s always good to get something new and go out of town.
“I want to (get into skiing), but the last thing I need is an off-field injury,” he joked.
Evans plans on making his move to Logan the Monday after his high school graduation.