The vast majority of the updates to 247Sports' rankings for the 2021 class that were released Wednesday focused primarily on defensive players. But one of Tennessee's offensive commitments also moved up Wednesday after committing to the Vols less than three weeks ago.
Running back Tiyon Evans of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College now is rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports, where he's ranked the nation's No. 2 overall junior-college prospect and No. 1 juco running back in the 2021 class following Wednesday's rankings updates. Evans now has a 92 rating on 247Sports after previously being a three-star prospect with an 88 numerical rating.
Eleven of Tennessee's 22 commitments for the 2021 class now are rated four- or five-star prospects in either 247Sports' rankings or the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. The Vols currently have the nation's No. 2 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
The 5-foot-10.5, 215-pound Evans still is rated a three-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite, where he's ranked the No. 3 overall junior-college prospect and No. 1 juco running back.
Evans, a former Hartsville (S.C.) High School standout, already was ranked among the nation's top juco players before climbing in the rankings and becoming a 247Sports four-star prospect. Despite previously being a three-star prospect, he was ranked the nation's No. 3 junior-college player by 247Sports prior to Wednesday's updates.
He chose Tennessee over home-state school South Carolina and offers from at least a half-dozen other schools on April 30, committing to the Vols during their recent run of 11 commitments in a span of two weeks.
Tennessee gave him his first offer in December, shortly after the conclusion of his freshman season at Hutchinson, and he picked the Vols over the Gamecocks despite never having visited Tennessee's campus. He said he got a glimpse of Knoxville in December when he pulled off the interstate for a brief pass through a portion of the city while he was traveling home from Hutchinson after the fall semester.
Last season, he rushed for 538 yards and nine touchdowns on just 61 carries while also adding four receptions for 43 yards and a score and handling kick-return duties.
“He wasn't really on the radar in recruiting circles (in high school) because he was kind of early deemed as a non-qualifier,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Charles Power told GoVols247's Grant Ramey last month. “Very similar to maybe a Cordarrelle Patterson, where everyone who followed high school football knew he was extremely good, but he was going to have to go to juco.
“He’s the best running back prospect from South Carolina in a few years. You could argue Tavien Feaster, who was a five-star coming out. But at least from that area of the state that he’s from, he’s the best since I’ve been following it, so a long time.”
In December, he rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries in Hutchinson's Salt City Bowl win over Monroe College of New Rochelle, N.Y.
“The first thing that pops out is he’s extremely difficult to tackle,” Power told Ramey last month. “He would return kicks. He returned kicks at Hutchinson last year. He’s low to the ground, kind of has a compact build and just bounces off tacklers.
“The best attributes he has to me: just extremely quick and the contact, balance and ability to break tackles.”