Evans gets a chance


Carlin Underwood

Chris Evans (No. 12) gets congratulated after scoring the winning touchdown in a 2014 semistate game against Center Grove. Evans was drafted in this years NFL draft.

Brentton Wharton, staff writer

Ben Davis alumni Chris Evans realized his dream when he was selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

He was selected in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals, who really needed a player to fill up depth at the running back position. The Cincinnati Bengals went the obvious route in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft by selecting Chris Evans.

Running back was always going to be one of those spots the Bengals hit late in the draft. It’s just smart to draft one every year, plus the team had cut loose Giovani Bernard. Evans has the skill set to potentially fill that same role. He ran for 1,795 yards and 15 scores on a 5.6 average with 49 catches over four seasons. The team received an ‘A’ grade from many analysts and news outlets for their selection of Evans. Many see Evans as a running back with major upside as a significant contributor on third downs, or a bigger role on the off chance current starter Joe Mixon can’t stay healthy. 

It has been quite the road for Evans, from high school to now. Back in 2014 he was a part of the state championship football team here at Ben Davis, and it was his best statistical season in his high school career. He played 14 games, and carried the ball 185 times for 1,249 rushing yards, averaging 6.8 yards per carry and 89.2 yards per game.

He had five games that season where he rushed for 100+ yards, and put up 18 touchdown runs. He also caught 51 passes for 676 yards and 10 receiving scores. He led the team in all purpose yards with 1,998, and in touchdowns with 28. Many players are lucky to get into the end zone at all in a season, and Evans averaged 2 touchdowns a game. In his career at Ben Davis Evans totaled 2894 rushing yards on 472 carries and 59 total touchdowns. 

He went on to attend Michigan University, where he put on a terrific sophomore campaign. He carried the ball 135 times for 685 yards averaging just over 5 yards per carry. He saw the end zone a total of 7 times, 6 rushing to go along with 1 receiving. Between then and now, Evans dealt with trouble in school, where an academic mistake saw him suspended from the Wolverine’s football team for the 2019 season. He was able to return to school the following year, play his senior season, graduate and realize his dream of playing in the NFL.

There’s no way to describe this accomplishment, Evans has been through a lot, but I’m sure he knows that he’s got all of Ben Davis in his corner.