Local product Evans drafted by Tennessee Titans

New Smyrna Beach standout reflects on draft, college degree

Appalachian State kick returner Darrynton Evans, left, runs ahead of Penn State defenders en route to a 100-yard touchdown return during the first quarter on Sept. 1, 2018, at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pa. The host Nittany Lions won, 45-38, in overtime.

ABBY DREY/CENTRE DAILY TIMES/TNS

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

Former New Smyrna Beach High star Darrynton Evans was taken in the third round of the National Football League (NFL) Draft by the Tennessee Titans last weekend.

The elated player was surrounded by loved ones at the home of his parents, Evelyn and Darry Evans, in Oak Hill on Saturday night, which was day two of the three-day event.

“It’s a great feeling. I was still processing it. It was nice to be around family, friends and loved ones during the moment. It’s also great to do it being from a place like Oak Hill,’’ Evans told the Daytona Times.

College career

The 5’11, 180-pound running back has been clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

He had a stellar collegiate career at Appalachian State University.

In 2019, he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year running for 1,480 yards with 18 touchdowns. He finished with 2,884 rushing yards with 25 rushing touchdowns including consecutive 1,000 yards rushing seasons.

Evans also shined as a receiver (six touchdowns) and kick returner (three touchdowns, 25.7 yards per return average) in college.

Lifelong dream

The high selection in the draft was no surprise.

“I knew I was going somewhere around the third round. I could have gone in the late second. It just depended upon the needs of teams and the type of running back that they were looking for,’’ he commented.

To play professional football is a lifelong dream come true.

“I’ve been involved in sports my entire life. Football got me to college and a chance to get an education, which I’ll soon have and can fall back on. The opportunity to play professionally also arose by playing football and going to college. I always wanted to play in the NFL,” responded Evans.

Darrynton Evans (center) poses with his parents, Evelyn and Darry Evans after being selected in the NFL Draft.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE EVANS FAMILY

Graduating soon

Evans will soon have his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Appalachian State University.

“I’ll be graduating soon. I am wrapping up my final class at this moment. I’ll be done in two weeks,” Evans related.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, including the NFL Draft process.

The NFL Draft was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas but was done virtually for the first time ever.

More interviews

The COVID-19 pandemic did take a toll on Evans’ draft process too.

Evans expressed, “It may have actually helped me more in the draft. I got to talk to a lot more teams than originally had interest in me. Instead of having to fly around the country, I did a lot more phone interviews and Zoom interviews.”

NFL teams are switching things up during their offseason.

“It has changed things. Things are still being figured out. Teams are now doing meetings and off season workouts via Zoom and other online platforms,” said Evans.

Getting ready

Now Evans is getting to work being a pro football player and is ready for the challenges ahead.

“I’m working out and I am learning the playbook. I am doing as much as I can to learn my craft. Soon it will be just football and I won’t be taking classes in school,” Evans added.

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