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75 Days to Purdue Football: Shane Evans

The grad transfer has more than proven his worth.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I was ridiculously impressed with the improvement of the offensive line last year, and a large reason for that is a pair of graduate transfers brought in by Jeff Brohm. Dave Steinmetz only had one year and performed well enough to get an NFL free agent look. Today’s player was the rare two-year graduate transfer that also filled an immediate hole.

Shane Evans - Grad Transfer

Crystal Lake, IL (Northern Illinois University)

6’4”, 310 pounds

Offensive Guard

2018 Projection: Starter at Left Guard

What a year for Evans last season. Our offensive was a mess under Hazell and Evans came in, started game 1 at left guard, and didn’t leave the position the rest of the year. He was an instant impact grad transfer from NIU, which is exactly what we needed. He did all the dirty work at guard.

That’s what stands out the most about Evans. He is versatile. Put him on a new team and he starts instantly for 13 games. He can play guard or at center if necessary. Put him in a different system and he is still a starter from the previous system where he was a starter.

It is safe to say that Evans is a huge reason Purdue turned things around in 2017, so I am glad we have him for another season. He has even helped develop another promising line prospect:

His eyes rarely left the play of star offensive lineman Shane Evans, watching his every move from pregame warmups to postgame celebration.

“Shane was so much bigger than the other kids, and Jeff could relate to that,” Jean Jenkins, Jeff’s mom, said. “He understood that.”

Shane and Jeff grew up as neighbors in suburban Chicago. As they got older, Shane became Jeff’s mentor and a future Big Ten offensive lineman. By trying to emulate Shane, Jeff found a path to unlock his potential, becoming a two-time state champion and 4-star Iowa-bound offensive lineman.