Norman (Okla.) North had never advanced beyond the state quarterfinals before 2012. That all changed as Norman North was able to reach the state championship game.
The biggest reason? Three-star defensive end Jordan Evans and his spectacular senior season. Evans finished with 94 tackles, nine sacks and an interception. He rushed for 335 yards and five touchdowns.
But what stood out the most was his ability on special teams. Evans returned five kicks for touchdowns, including three in the playoffs.
Minutes away from Oklahoma, the Sooners finally took notice during the season. He was offered before the Bedlam showdown against Oklahoma State and committed to OU three days later.
SoonerNation caught up with Norman North coach Wade Standley about what makes Evans such a special talent.
SoonerNation: Heck of a season for you guys. Two years ago you take over. What were your first impressions of Jordan?
Wade Standley: Jordan was a very athletic looking young man. He was around 6-foot and 170 pounds. As we watched him move around, we figured he would be a beast as outside linebacker/defensive end player. We were going to move him around and let him make things happen.
SN: Wait, you moved him there. Where was he originally?
Standley: He was a cornerback when we first got here. I’m not saying he couldn’t play cornerback for us this season. He definitely could have. But we thought he could make the most impact as a downhill pass rusher.
SN: Safe to say that was the correct move. When did the light bulb come on for Jordan? He wasn’t a name too many top schools knew about heading into this season.
Standley: Sometime midway through his junior year he started making plays. He never stopped. The game became easier for him, and he was incredible.
SN: Where did he make the biggest strides as a player this season?
Standley: Obviously he was bigger, stronger, faster, and he really worked on his quickness. But what I thought he did the best was playing underneath his pads and staying low.
SN: With his size, you don’t figure Jordan to be a returner. How did that al come about?
Standley: We wanted to find a way to get the ball in his hands more. I was asking, 'Why don’t we have him back there more?' So we decided to go ahead and give it a try. He’s the best athlete on the team; let’s do this. He has the ability to make plays and has a knack for surpassing expectations.
SN: Not many schools were looking in his direction. Did that ever weigh on his mind?
Standley: You’d have to ask him, but I don’t think so. Jordan has never been that type of kid. He’s a team guy. He was this season and always has been.
SN: Why should OU fans be so excited to have Jordan joining the squad?
Standley: His upside is incredible. He’s only going to get bigger and bigger. He can do so many things well and can play a number of positions. He’s a great fit. A great young man, and we’re excited to be able to watch him grow and play so close to home.