Safety Josh Evans ended his Florida career on Jan. 2 when the Gators lost to Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, but his football career will go on.
The New Jersey native signed with Dimensional Sports Inc. and Malik Shareef will be the agent representing him.
Evans has since moved to Boca Raton, Fla., to train for the NFL combine and for the East-West Shrine Game that will take place next Saturday at 4 p.m.
“I’m down in Boca Raton just working out,” Evans said. “I’m just doing some combine test stuff like working on my starts and working on all-star game prep stuff. With the season ending, I’m just working on fine tuning some stuff like my backpedal and some defensive back drills.”
All-stars games are a great way for seniors to showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts and coaches, and the East-West Shrine Game could certainly do that for Evans.
While in Orlando for the Shrine game, Evans will be put through numerous drills and will be matched up against top senior quarterbacks and receivers all week, but that’s exactly what Evans wants.
“I want to get down there and show my talent off,” Evans said. “I’m ready to compete and show that I’m just as good as the other guys that may be rated ahead of me and just that I’m better. I want the scouts to be able to see that in person.”
The next step after the East-West Shrine Game will be the NFL combine in Indianapolis, where only the best players are invited to attend.
Evans will be spending training to lower his 40-yard dash time, increase his flexibility and show off that he has good hip movement as a defense back.
“The combine is a lot than the regular test stuff we usually do,” Evans said. “In talking with guys that have done it before down there in Indy, they say it’s a lot different. They say you are up at 4 or 5 in the morning, so you have to get in a routine of getting up and getting prepared to do interviews and answer questions early in the morning. So it’s a lot of mental stuff to prepare for as well as physical stuff.”
Heading into Evans’ senior season, he wasn’t talked about much when it came to the NFL, but following his impressive senior campaign that has changed.
Evans has been projected by NFL scouts and executives to be drafted anywhere from the third to fifth round and he hopes after the combine that he could be in the second-round range.
A lot of the credit goes to Florida coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for helping Evans as he said the defense that the Gators run has prepared him for the NFL.
“I’m actually glad that we had this style of defense for the past years,” Evans said. “It actually had me advanced in communication, because the first two years I never had to make a call but in Coach Muschamp’s defense or Dan Quinn’s defense I did. The safeties and linebackers are the quarterback of the defense making calls and checks. That style of defense has definitely prepared me well to start making calls and checks in the NFL.”
When Evans is finished with interviews at the combine and the scouts have time to watch his film, he believes that the arrow will be pointed up for him on draft boards.