Dual-threat QB ready to take reins at Oklahoma

By Michael Kinney

During the past decade, there wasn’t a more consistent position at the University of Oklahoma than at quarterback. Every year it seemed like the starters and backups all were capable of taking the reigns of the high-profile position.

However, by the time 2022 rolled around, every player who had taken a snap at quarterback during the 2021 season had either already transferred or where in the transfer portal looking to possibly do the same. For a program that has produced the lineage of signal-callers that OU has during the past decade, that was not a good position to be in.

But Oklahoma wasn’t left completely empty-handed. While all the eyes were focused on those who were looking to leave the program, they had at least one player coming through the front door with aims to do whatever it takes to keep the Sooners on top of the mountain.

“I’m going to say get your popcorn ready because it’s going to be a show,” said quarterback Nick Evers. “We’re going to ball out, it’s going to be an amazing time. You’re going to see a bunch of guys flying around, having fun and lighting up that scoreboard, and it’s going to be amazing.”

Evers, a 6-foot-3, 187-pound quarterback out of Flower Mound High (TX.) decided in the late stages of the recruiting process to make Oklahoma his future home after previously being committed to Florida.

The Sooners’ recruitment of Evers happened so fast that it caught most observers and fans off guard.

Evers de-committed from the Gators on Dec. 7. A week later on Dec. 13 he verbally committed to Oklahoma. Two days later he was signing a National Letter of Intent with the rest of the Sooners 2022 class and the only quarterback so far.

Evers credits his past relationship with new Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby as a main reason he found his way to Norman.

“OU, it just felt like a family atmosphere to me. Coach (Brent) Venables and Coach Lebby have been super welcoming to me and my family, just considering my circumstance,” Evers said. “They pride themselves on relationships and how big that is, and that’s a big part of my recruiting process and just the family atmosphere that they create. I was getting recruited by Coach Lebby while he was at Ole Miss, so I’ve always had a connection with him, and I and him were always able to click.”

It is easy to see why Evers was one of the first players Lebby contacted after taking over as the Sooner’s offensive coordinator. According to RIvals.com, he was the No. 4 ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation and 38th ranked player in Texas.

During his prep career at Flower Mound, Evers racked up almost every accolade possible. That includes being named to the annual All-American Bowl, which he was unable to participate in due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Yet, when Evers looks back on his career, he says it’s not the touchdowns or yards that he will remember the most.

“The memories, I’ll definitely cherish all the memories that I made through my high school career,” Evers said. “I think one of the things would be finally getting a starting position in my junior year, and just all the small things, all the small things that happen, is something that I’m going to take with me to college because you’re not going to get those memories again. And just looking back on it, it’s something I’m really going to miss.”

Unlike many elite-level players who are handed starting roles as freshmen or sophomores, Evers didn’t earn his first start until his junior season. It made him appreciate the grind it took to get there and also the drive to make the most of the opportunity.

“Once I got that spotlight, I was just showing what I’ve been working for my whole life,” Evers said. “I put a lot of work in under the shadows. I was behind a three-years starter, Blake Short, who’s playing at SFA right now, and doing amazing things from what I can see. And once I got that spotlight, it was really just showcasing what I’ve been working for. And I think I executed pretty well, and I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface. So really, what’s lying ahead of me is my best, best years.”

In his time at Flower Mound, Evers was the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback. 

As a senior, Evers threw for 2,365 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 181 of his 327 passes. He also ran for another 697 yards and 10 scores.

“I think I’m an extremely accurate quarterback, I can get it anywhere on the field. But also, I can sneak up on you with my legs. I got long strides so it doesn’t look that fast until I pass by you,” Evers said. “So you got to watch out for everything because you never know what could happen. I could break out a 75-yard touchdown run when my team needs it, or I could power through for a big 3rd down conversion on the first down. And then you guys try to stop that and I’ll just throw it over the top of you to one of my teammates, and we’re going to light up the scoreboard.”

Flower Mound coach Brian Basil agrees that Evers had every tool in the toolbox needed to excel at the position.

“He does not miss on throws very often,” Basil said. “He’s got a quick release, the ability to see where the ball needs to be and get it there, and in the short amount of time possible. That’s real. What I think separates him. In terms of an elite-level guy at quarterback, he can make every throw on the field, talking about field-side fades, field-side out routes. He’s able to make those throws.”

But Basil said what makes Evers dangerous is what he can do with his legs.

“When things break down, if something’s not to there, he’s able to make plays with his feet, whether it’s scrambling when something is off schedule, he is able to make things happen when the play breaks down, whether it’s a throw on the run,” Basil said. “He showed the ability this year to make a lot of plays with his feet. He’s a great athlete. To me, he’s one of those guys that, he’s not looking to run first.”

Those are the same traits Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts and Caleb Williams possessed and were able to have success with at Oklahoma.

Now it will be Evers’s chance. He graduated early from Flower Mound and is currently enrolled at Oklahoma starting the next stage of his life.

One of his first moves was to announce he planned to donate all proceeds from his first name, image and likeness (NIL) deal to Make-A-Wish. It was a move that instantly earned him respect from the Sooner fan base.

It also showed Evers felt at home.

“When OU came calling, it just felt right. That just felt like the place to be. And not just the relationship aspect, but the fact that they could produce on the field,” Evers said. “I know we’ve seen over the last many years what OU football can do. And I think that I and the 2022 class and the classes that come can make a huge impact for OU. So, I’m super excited for the potential that we have, and we have all the right people to do amazing things.”

Story first ran in The Sooner Spectator

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