He’s tall, good looking, smart with a quick grin that could charm someone who lives north of the Arctic circle into buying a bag of ice. Not the kind of guy you would think walks around with a chip on his shoulder the size of his native Texas. The chip sitting so prominently on Nick Evers’ shoulder serves as a reminder that he can’t ever stop working nor can he stop learning.
“You can’t ever think you’re already there, that you’ve arrived,” Evers said this past Friday at Piesanos in Gainesville as he relaxed before the Friday Night Lights event. “Once you start thinking like that, you’re done. You have to believe you’re really good because you’ve put in the time and the work to prepare for this moment, but when you start thinking you’ve got it made, someone’s going to come along who’s worked harder than you. So I keep working harder and keep trying to learn the game. There are people out there who doubt me now … there will always be people who doubt you. So I have that chip on my shoulder and it tells me the way to shut the doubters up is to keep working harder, keep learning more and never give up. No matter how good I might get in the future, the chip stays right where it is, right on my shoulder, and it’s a big one.”
It’s that chip on his shoulder that made Nick Evers one of the high risers at the recent Elite 11 showcase on the Left Coast. He started the week with three stars attached to his name, ranked in the lower half of the 20 quarterbacks selected to attend the week of competition and learning. When it started, Evers was ranked the 26th dual threat quarterback by 247Sports.com, 9th by Rivals.
Once the competition began, however, Evers began a spectacular rise that saw him pick apart the rankings. He finished in the top eight in every workout, was spectacular in the accuracy gauntlet competition where he threw six in a row through the target bullseye, and impressed everyone with his ability to quickly grasp a new concept. When the week ended, Evers was the No. 3 quarterback in the Sports Illustrated All-American rankings, trailing only Clemson commit Cade Klubnik and Texas commit Maalik Murphy. Among those trailing Evers were No. 4 Devin Brown (Southern Cal); No. 5 Ty Simpson (Alabama); No. 6 Quinn Ewers (Ohio State); No. 7 Conner Weigman (Texas A&M); No. 10 A.J. Duffy (Florida State); No. 12 Walker Howard (LSU); No. 15 Drew Allar (Penn State); No. 16 Tayven Jackson (Tennessee) and No. 20 Jacurri Brown (Miami), who all started the week ranked higher.
Evers earned his fourth star at Elite 11 but most of those aforementioned quarterbacks still have a higher ranking according to 247Sports and Rivals. That is like heaving a couple of 50-gallon gas cans onto the fire that is already raging within Nick Evers.
“Do I think about it?” he asked in response to a question about the lack of respect given by the two major pay for info recruiting services. “Sure I do, but all it does is make me work harder. I can’t control anything other people think, but I can control how hard I work.”
He can also control who’s going to be directing his path in college. He had 25 offers and had just finished a visit to Georgia when he committed to the Gators. Evers will be the first to tell you t