Chris Evans (American football)

Chris Evans (born October 5, 1997) is an American football running back, most recently for the Michigan Wolverines. He rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries (14.0 yards per carry) in his first college game on September 3, 2016.

Chris Evans
Michigan Wolverines
PositionRunning back/wide receiver
Career history
Bowl games
High schoolIndianapolis (IN) Ben Davis
Personal information
Born: (1997-10-05) October 5, 1997 (age 22)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight200 lb (91 kg)

Early yearsEdit

A native of Indianapolis,[1] Evans attended Ben Davis High School in that city.[2] As a high school junior in 2014, he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 51 passes for 676 yards and 10 touchdowns.[3] As a high school senior in 2015, he rushed for over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 40 passes for 511 yards and four touchdowns.[4] He scored 47 touchdowns in his final two years at Ben Davis High.[5] He also competed four years of track at Ben Davis High. In high school, he ran the 100-meter dash in 10.9 seconds. The 110m hurdles in 14.28 seconds electronically which placed him 3rd at his state meet.[4] Evans was also a very successful long jumper, improving from a 19 feet 11 inches to a 23 feet 1 inch and 25 feet 1 inch by his senior year.

University of MichiganEdit

Recruiting and commitmentEdit

In June 2015, Evans, a long-time Ohio State fan, attended a Michigan Wolverines football satellite camp in Indianapolis. He caught the eye of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh who proceeded to court Evans' parents.[6] Evans gave his verbal commitment to play football at Michigan two days later. At the time, Evans said, "If coach Harbaugh thinks you're good, you must be."[7]

After accepting an offer from Michigan, Evans was pursued by Ohio State,[8] but he tweeted in early January 2016 that, though he was flattered by Ohio State's interest, he would maintain his commitment to Michigan.[9][10]

Recruited as an athlete, Evans was known for his versatility, as he saw action in high school at running back, slot receiver and cornerback.[1] During the preseason training camp prior to his freshman year in 2016, Evans drew praise for his explosiveness and speed.[4][11] Teammate Drake Johnson described him as "mad athletic" and "real smooth . . . like butter smooth, we're just like 'ooh, wow' ", and added, "He just makes it look smooth and easy. He looks effortless when he does stuff, 'yeah, that was nice.'"[12]

Evans has been described as having "deceptive looks." Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News wrote: "He wears glasses (contacts during the game) and has sported a high-top haircut since he was a kid watching Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”[13]

2016 seasonEdit

On September 3, 2016, Evans appeared in his first game for Michigan. In the first three quarters, he rushed for 112 yards on eight carries (14.0 yards per carry), including an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.[14][13] He became the third Michigan player to rush for over 100 yards in his college debut.[15] After the game, head coach Jim Harbaugh said, "I knew Chris Evans was special. What you saw today is what we have been seeing in practice the last month. He's a special football player. And you didn't get to see everything he can do."[15][16] Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press wrote of the game that "the spark came from freshman Chris Evans and his wiggle. Evans brought a different dimension than the bruising backs, maybe something U-M hasn’t seen since Denard Robinson."[17]

Mitch Albom dubbed Evans "Captain Fantastic" and added "it might be a case of A Star is Born."[18] Michigan running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley said of Evans: "He's like my Steph Curry in the room. Meaning that he can create his own space, can win one-on-ones and, most surprisingly ... I didn't realize how tough he was between the tackles."[19]

On October 8, 2016, Evans registered his second 100-yard rushing game in a 78-0 victory over Rutgers. Evans led Michigan's rushing attack with 153 yards on 11 carries for an average of 13.9 yards per carry.[20]

Through the first six games of the 2016 season, Evans was Michigan's leading rusher with 400 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry.[21]

In the 2016 Capital One Orange Bowl, Evans scored a 30-yard touchdown to give his team the lead with less than two minutes to play.[22] Evans ultimately finished second on the team to De'Veon Smith with 614 rushing yards. His four rushing touchdowns were fifth on the team behind Smith, Khalid Hill, Ty Isaac, and Karan Higdon.[23]

2017 seasonEdit

During the 2017 season, Evans mainly served as the backup running back to Karan Higdon. He had a career day against Minnesota on November 4 when he ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns.[24] Evans ultimately finished second on the team behind Higdon with 685 rushing yards on the year and six rushing touchdowns.[25]

2018 seasonEdit

Evans once again served as the number two back behind Karan Higdon in 2018. His most successful game came against Western Michigan on September 8, when he rushed for 86 yards and two rushing touchdowns.[26] Evans finished the year with 423 rushing yards and four touchdowns.[27]

2019 seasonEdit

Evans, after the graduation of Karan Higdon, was set to be the Wolverines' leading returning rusher coming into the 2019 season as a senior. In February 2019, the team released a statement that Evans was no longer with the program. He announced via twitter that he had "academic issues" and planned to continue his career at Michigan.[28] In June, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Evans would be suspended for the 2019 season, but would be eligible to return in 2020.[29] It was later announced that Evans would be returning for the 2020 season as a 5th year player.


  1. ^ a b Nick Baumgardner (February 17, 2016). "Versatile Chris Evans could play RB, WR or CB for Michigan: 'Whatever they need'".
  2. ^ "Chris Evans Bio". University of Michigan. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Back picks up Michigan offer". Indianapolis Star. June 2, 2015. p. C2.
  4. ^ a b c Nick Baumgardner (August 18, 2016). "Versatile Michigan freshman Chris Evans turns heads with speed, elusiveness".
  5. ^ "Former Ben Davis star impresses football fans". Indianapolis Star. September 9, 2016. p. C4.
  6. ^ "How Jim Harbaugh Lured Michigan's Breakout Star From Ohio State". CBS Detroit, Channel 62. September 7, 2016.
  7. ^ Nick Baumgardner (June 9, 2015). "Chris Evans on why he chose Michigan: 'If coach Harbaugh thinks you're good, you must be'".
  8. ^ Ari Wasserman (January 7, 2016). "Ohio State offers four-star Indianapolis prospect and Michigan commit Chris Evans". The Plain Dealer.
  9. ^ Mark Snyder (January 8, 2016). "U-M commit Evans rebuffs Ohio State offer". Detroit Free Press.
  10. ^ Nick Baumgardner (January 8, 2016). "Four-star athlete Chris Evans reaffirms commitment to Michigan after Ohio State offer".
  11. ^ Jacob Gase (August 17, 2016). "Freshman Evans impresses teammates with explosiveness and speed". The Michigan Daily.
  12. ^ Josh Henschke (August 17, 2016). ""Mad athletic" freshman Chris Evans impressing veteran running backs early".
  13. ^ a b Bob Wojnowski (September 3, 2016). "Evans leads Wolverines' youth movement". The Detroit News.
  14. ^ "Cool Chris Evans introduces himself to Michigan Stadium, history books in stellar debut". September 3, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Jeff Seidel (September 3, 2016). "Freshman RB Chris Evans dazzles in Michigan debut". Detroit Free Press.
  16. ^ Max Bultman (September 3, 2016). ""Special" Chris Evans makes most of college debut". The Michigan Daily.
  17. ^ Mark Snyder (September 3, 2016). "Speight's three TDs, stout defense help Michigan destroy Hawaii, 63-3". Detroit Free Press.
  18. ^ Mitch Albom (September 3, 2016). "Michigan catches a perfect wave with easy opener over Hawaii". Detroit Free Press.
  19. ^ Mark Snyder (September 14, 2016). "RBs coach Tyrone Wheatley: U-M freshman Chris Evans 'our Steph Curry'". Detroit Free Press.
  20. ^ "Michigan vs. Rutgers Box Score".
  21. ^ "2016 Michigan Football Statistics (6-game Totals)". University of Michigan.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "2016 Michigan Wolverines Stats". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Michigan runs wild, pulls away and routs Minnesota 33-10". Associated Press. November 4, 2017.
  25. ^ "2017 Michigan Wolverines Stats". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "No. 21 Michigan bounces back with 49-3 win over W Michigan". Associated Press. September 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "2018 Michigan Wolverines Stats". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  28. ^ Baumgardner, Nick (February 5, 2019). "Michigan's Chris Evans no longer part of football program". Detroit Free Press.
  29. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (June 2, 2019). "Running back Chris Evans will not play for Michigan this season". The Detroit News.