Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maurice Evans Eager To Put Past Behind Him

By John Sears

The defensive end from Penn State has left school early to start his professional career. “I just feel real confident I’m ready…the decision I made was with my coaches and family.” When questioned about his run-in with the law on marijuana charges, and if he's tired of answering questions Evans states, “It’s old. I’ve learned my lesson and am ready to put that behind me. I now know I never want to be in a situation that would put my NFL career in danger.“

Evans sounds excited about any opportunity to play in any defense, whether it be in an odd- or even-man front, although he states he feels more natural with his hand on the ground. Later on, he admitted being a little smaller would potentially sway him in to a stand up position, but felt confident in doing so.

Speaking of his “smallness”, Evans has bulked up significantly from training. He was listed in the 250-255 range at Penn State and weighed in at 274 at the combine. At 6’1”, his frame is looking a lot like Lamarr Woodley's (6’2”, 265). Woodley, another former Big Ten defensive end and current Steeler, is currently celebrating a Super Bowl victory after an impactful season for the Steeltowners. Speaking of the Steelers, that is one of the teams Evans listed as having contact (unofficial) with. Cleveland, Atlanta, New England, New York Jets, San Diego, Carolina, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants were among the others. There seemed to be a bigger smile when Evans mentioned the Giants which was not surprising considering he's a Brooklyn native. He repeatedly mentioned playing for the home team would be the only rival to his experiences playing in Happy Valley.

So the “Brooklyn Brawler” says he's ready to play anywhere in any system. Evans seems to have his future figured out. Evans' former Head Coach Joe Paterno likes to needle his former player about their shared hometown of Brooklyn. Evans chuckles, “He always tells me [being a Brooklyn guy] how he used to run Brooklyn back when he was younger, and how I’m not really from Brooklyn.”

According to Paterno, Evans may not know how to run Brooklyn, but he’ll be running down quarterbacks in the NFL soon enough.

Stay tuned for more from the NFL combine.