September 10, 2007

Notebook: Evans steps up in first start

Somewhat lost in Saturday night's upset loss to South Florida was the play of several Auburn defenders including linebacker Chris Evans.

The junior, starting his first career game in place of injured starter Tray Blackmon, led the team in tackles, earning high praise from defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

"I'm really proud of Chris," said Muschamp. "He came in and made all the calls up front for the defense. He stepped up and played with a great tempo. He was around the ball and made a lot of tackles.

"There are some more-talented guys out there, but I don't know that there's a lot who play harder than he does. I was impressed with his effort, what he was able to do."

Evans' 14 tackles were the most by an AU player since Karlos Dansby had 14 against Florida in 2002. Not bad for a player that began his AU career as a grayshirt and entered the season with just 15 career tackles.

Even with Blackmon expected back this week, Evans may still have a place in the starting lineup. He's worked mostly at Mike (middle) linebacker this season, but has plenty of experience at Will (weakside) and even a little at Sam (strongside).

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