Updated: Jun 23
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @LonnPhillips
Making it official, Christ Presbyterian ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ cornerback Ondre Evans informs LSUOdyssey he has committed to Coach Brian Kelly's 2024 LSU Tigers, becoming the 18th commitment of their class (following WR Kylan Billiott's pledge yesterday).
Evans will also enroll early as a new member of DBU, undergoing the rigors of summer school right now to help ensure his January 2024 campus arrival.
Formerly plying his trade as a receiver, Evans experienced a disappointing 2022 summer camp at LSU, where he was told he was "under-developed" & "unpolished", before suffering an extended period of uncertainty and doubt.
But once he switched roles from receiver to cornerback, Evans struck pay dirt last fall, collecting 30 total offers from the best of the best, led by LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech.
However, once LSU made their official overture to Evans, backed by an intensive push for his Signing Day signature, the Tennessee native knew Louisiana State University would become his next home.
Producing 38 tackles, 5 pass breakups and 2 interceptions last fall, while still pitching in at receiver (18 catches for 221 yards), Evans' film told an even more convincing story about his attributes and fit at a program of LSU's stature: When facing Evans, opposing quarterbacks were often plagued with a palpable, exceptional fear....affecting their mentality before, during and after every target heaved his way.
Living rent free inside the minds of quarterbacks, possessing the athleticism of a former receiver (ran a 10.5 second 100 meter) alongside the strength of a prime-time, brutal defender (benches in excess of 300 pounds), posting stellar on-field production for a first year full-time DB, all as he earned the endorsements of college football's finest defensive coaches, Ondre Evans is a Tiger to watch as 2024 dawns.....
In the days leading up to his commitment, Dre spoke over the phone with LSUOdyssey, letting us in on why he chose the Tigers over 29 other top programs, his switch from receiver to corner, the adversity he battled to get to this point, and much, much more....check out Evans' first official interview as a Tiger below:
LONN: Dre, you first camped at LSU a year ago....as a receiver, and since then, you've switched over to corner. Ever since you made that move, things have taken a big turn for you. How would you characterize that switch and this present change in your fortunes?
DRE: I've been very excited switching, basically going from offense over to defense and learning how to play a whole new position has been very fun.
Tough at the same time, but interesting, I can say. And it's been fun, ever since I switched over to defensive back, my recruitment has skyrocketed and things have been good. I've been noticed more at defensive back.
LONN: What went into the switch from WR to DB?
DRE: I also moved high schools that year. My new high school (Christ Presbyterian) needed corners and I was playing one side of the ball, I was playing offense, so I was like 'why not give it a shot at corner?', my team needs it.
And so I stepped in for that spot.
I was really doing it to help out my team and ended up liking playing corner and people saw me as a college corner...so they started taking me more seriously.
LONN: When did you feel like this is the moment LSU are going to offer?
DRE: Well they offered me before I went to camp, so I wasn't really sure. They said "if I came down to camp, that I would receive an offer", but I ended up getting an offer three days before I came (to LSU).
A week prior to that, I was at Georgia. I don't know if that did anything, but I camped at Georgia and did really good there.
LONN: Dre, a few years ago, when you first conceptualized your recruitment process, did you anticipate this ending.....at LSU?
DRE: Uhm....no not really. Maybe a school like NC State, some other schools, more smaller, but not this big of a school, no sir.
LONN: What made you think there were limitations to your future, that LSU may not be an option?
DRE: Back then I was under-developed. I wasn't as developed as I am now. Now that I'm more developed, I feel like I can play at LSU, Georgia, Bama and those schools.
LONN: You've been through the kind of adversity that I feel can help a great player develop even faster. There's a lot of kids your age who don't face that kind of early adversity, or really any kind of adversity until their first year of college. You've already been through a lot of that.
DRE: I've just been working very hard, since that day (the day of LSU's 2022 camp)....because I ended up talking to LSU's recruiting coordinator Will Redmond....he knows my family really well. And he told me "I'm just not as developed as some of the other guys they offered", so that gave me the extra motivation to keep working and come back again.
And, I did this year.
I came back and killed it at camp.
LONN: From the disappointment of that first LSU camp in 2022 until now, what have been some of the more difficult moments you had to battle through get to this point?
DRE: Football-wise, for one, I can say for a moment I lost confidence in my game. I had to go find that again, start training harder, start believing in myself. Two, I can say was me changing schools. I had to change to a totally different environment, totally different school, like everything just flipped in a month. Everything was very different, I had to learn how to get along with a different group of people, different thinking type of people. Like, I'm from the city, but moved out to the country and started seeing new things, trying new stuff, open up to that and the school part as well, being with a new family, too. I've been doing that type of stuff, getting used to the new environment I'm in now.
LONN: You go to a school with Christ in the name, Christ Presbyterian. What kind of role does your faith play in your life?
DRE: I'm like learning more about it, I wasn't 100% Christian at the time. I'm still getting into Christianity, I can say, still getting better at it, so, I'm just starting to realize more, take it more seriously and learning more about it.
LONN: Between now and your early enrollment, what would be your top two goals?
DRE: First, winning a state title with my friends and teammates.
Second, learning more, I just want to keep learning and getting better every game.
LONN: Because this is a milestone day, a milestone moment, what do you want to say to your parents at a time like this?
DRE: I would want to appreciate them for pushing me and not letting me give up...and for them holding me to a high standard....and being there throughout the whole process and motivating me throughout the whole way, as well.
We appreciate Ondre for his candor, his time and for sharing a part of his life experiences with us!
We are all eagerly awaiting his arrival as a Tiger, wearing the purple & gold, and taking his place among Robert Steeples' talented cornerbacks room.
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @LonnPhillips
©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc