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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player - #31 Craig Evans

Gary Andersen and Craig Evans: A union 4 years in the making

Jacksonville State v Michigan State Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

#31: Craig Evan - Defensive Tackle

At the end of the season when we look back at this list, Craig Evans is one of the names that we will likely decide should have been ranked much differently. Now whether that is for better or worse has yet to be determined. Keeping alive what appears to be an unfortunate fall camp tradition for the Beavs, the standout recruit is currently not eligible to practice or play. Gary Andersen seems confident that Evans will be eligible by the time the season starts but Beaver Nation is obviously a little on edge given history of guys like Simi Kuli, who never appeared in a game for the Beavs, and Kyle Peko, who did the eligibility dance for quite some time before finally seeing the field. If Gary Andersen’s confidence is rewarded and Evans is eligible, then the former Michigan State and Arizona Western College defensive tackle will likely be more important than his current #31 ranking. If Andersen’s confidence does not align with reality, and Evans doesn’t find his way on the field, then obviously he will not be amongst the top 50.

Evans originally committed to join Gary Andersen and Wisconsin out of high school, but the stringent academic standards that the Badgers have in place ended that union before it could even begin. The defensive tackle opted for Big-10 rival Michigan State instead. Following a redshirt season in 2014 Evans came on strong in 2015, earning all conference freshman honors. While hopes were high for Evans in East Lansing, things took an unexpected turn in the spring of 2016 when he left the football team for “personal reasons” and enrolled at Arizona Western. Evans later told the Sun Praire Star that had he stayed at MSU he would have been suspended for six games after failing a drug test. His time at Arizona Western saw many power 5 schools come calling, but Evans could not pass on the opportunity to finally play for Gary Andersen, the coach he had originally committed to out of high school.

The Beavs have high hopes for their defensive line this year, a unit that has struggled so far in the Andersen era. With almost every contributor from last year returning, and the addition of Evans in the middle its easy to see why. Can the 3 star JUCO transfer make an immediate impact? Will the Beavs defensive line finally gel and become a force to be reckoned with? Time will tell. Time will tell.

The list so far:

#31: Craig Evans-DT

#32: Jalen Moore - S

#33: Justin Sattelmaier - OL

#34: Trevon Bradford - WR

#35: Jonathan Willis - ILB

#36: Tuli Wily-Matagi - TE

#37: Doug Taumoelau - ILB

#38: Shemar Smith - OLB

#39: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. - OLB

#40: David Morris - S/OLB

#41: Nick Porebski - P

#42: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#43: Isaac Garcia - DE

#44: Andre Bodden- WR

#45: Trajon Cotton - S

#46: Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson - OLB

#47: Kolby Taylor - WR

#48: Darell Garretson - QB

#49: Jordan Choukair & Adley Rutschman - K

#50: Thor Katoa - DT/OLB