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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | Notre Dame TE Signee Mitchell Evans' Ceiling Especially High

December 27, 2020

If you had one word to describe Mitchell Evans‍ as a high school football player, versatile may be best.

During his time at Wadsworth High School in Ohio, Evans caught the ball, ran the ball, threw the ball and blocked for whoever else had the ball. And while the 2021 Irish signee will get a chance to focus on a single position when he gets to Notre Dame, his coach believes that versatility will still be an asset.

Wadsworth head coach Justin Todd says he’s watched more Notre Dame games than ever this year knowing Evans was headed to South Bend.

“I love what they do with their tight ends, the multiple-tight end sets that they use,” Wadsworth head coach Justin Todd says. “He’s going to fit in really well.

“What’s nice about Mitch is he’s athletic enough to be a Flex or a Split and big and strong enough to be an in-line or an H-Back. He’s very versatile and I know they’re going to carve out a great niche for him.”

Todd certainly did that during Evans’ time with him, putting him at tight end, H-back and quarterback.

“It certainly allowed us to diversify some things,” the coach says. “What’s unfortunate for us is that Mitchell dealt with some injuries as a junior. We saw the potential and he was certainly able to put enough on film that all of the colleges across the country saw the potential as well.

“But it was like I had this great, big, beautiful toy and I only got to play with it every once in a while like on a Friday if he was healthy.”

Evans threw for more than 2,100 yards as a senior and rushed for more than 400, scoring 31 total touchdowns.

“He was accounting for over 300 yards of offense a game and was certainly a reason why we were scoring 40 points per game this year,” says Todd. “That was all because of Mitch’s ability to distribute the ball, but also be an athletic run threat like he is.”

Todd says it’s Evans’ combination of size and speed that makes him such a weapon.

“You don’t see many guys that big who are able to run the way that he does,” Todd says of the 6-foot-7, 250-pounder. “There’s evidence of that on his highlight film, where you’ll see him catch a ball and pull away from people. Even more impressive than that, not just his straight-line speed, he’s got some wiggle.

“With the ball in the open field, he’s certainly an issue to tackle because of his size, but he’s also a guy who’s got a little shake to him as well. I think the sky is the limit for Mitch when it comes to what he’s going to do in an offense because of all the gifts he has physically.”

Evans in South Bend with fellow 2021 Irish signee Blake Fisher.

Evans has only played about a half-season total at tight end, meaning he has plenty of room to improve and his ceiling is especially high.

“Mitch has always been a basketball player, so understanding how to get open in space is something he can do, he naturally catches the ball really well,” says Todd.

“Number one, Mitch is going to have to really get his body right. There’s no greater place than Notre Dame and the specialists they’re going to be able to throw at Mitch to get him in peak physical condition. We were headed that way. We felt really good about him coming out of his junior year, which was an injury-riddled year, and transitioning and going into his senior year, everything was great and then COVID happened. Not that Mitch didn’t work out, but it’s not the same as getting treatments and being in a structured workout environment.”

Evans will enroll early, which Todd says will be a “huge benefit.”

“At most high schools, Mitch is going to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest guy on the field,” he says. “Now all of a sudden, he’s going to be required to block defensive ends, linebackers, etc., who may not be taller, but the same height and as explosive or more explosive. Adjusting to the physicality, which every college kid has to do.”

Todd has great confidence in Evans fitting in from a personality standpoint.

“He’s a fantastic young man, really, really high character,” the coach says. “He comes from a great family. They hold academics and athletic accountability to a very high standard in their family. From that perspective, you’re getting about as good of a young man as you’re going to find out there. He works really hard.

“His personality is unique because he loves to joke around. On Mitch’s best day, you would never know based off of his attitude whether it was his best day or his worst day. He’s very even-keeled. He kind of jokes and goofs around a little bit, but when he does cross the line and the whistle’s blown, he’s a very competitive kid.”

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