One of the most high-profile recruiting sagas for the 2020 class has finally been resolved. Five-star running back Zachary Evans has unexpectedly signed a financial aid agreement with TCU, according to 247Sports, ending a months-long recruiting mystery for the coveted back out of Houston. Evans is the first five-star recruit to choose TCU in the modern recruiting era, and he's also the highest-ranked prospect to ever sign with the program.
247Sports reports that Evans signed with the Frogs on Sunday night but had to attend an online class Monday morning before the signing could became official. TCU is just starting up its first summer session with COVID-19 concerns keeping students away from campus.
Evans initially signed his National Letter of Intent with Georgia during last December's Early Signing Period. However, he did not announce his commitment during January's Under Armour All-America Game and instead apologized to his college coaches, saying, "I made some stupid decisions and I'm ready to compete at the next level." 247Sports reported in January that Evans was not expected to end up with the Bulldogs. The program later gave Evans from his NLI with no restrictions.
After Evans was released by Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M were considered the frontrunners to landing the No. 16 overall player for the class and the top player in Texas. Evans later said he wasn't allowed to announce his next move until March and later took visits to Tennessee and Ole Miss. Florida also later became a rumored frontrunner for Evans. Though he was not able to sign with another team during the recruiting cycle, he could still verbally commit and enroll with another program and be eligible to play in 2020.
However, as 247Sports reported, "TCU quietly became an option behind the recruitment of head coach Gary Patterson and other coaches from his staff. Sources told HornedFrogBlitz that TCU had actually been building a strong relationship with Evans for well over a month."
Despite coming off a 5-7 season, TCU continues to recruit well. With Evans, the Frogs will have a top 25 class for 2020. TCU was also desperately in need of a player of Evans' talent. The Frogs lost their top two rushers from a season ago: Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua. The leading returning rusher is sophomore Darwin Barlow, who had just 99 yards and a touchdown.