Palmer Ridge QB Ty Evans commits to Arkansas

Photo - Palmer Ridge's quarterback Ty Evans is the Peak Performer this week. Monday, October 10, 2016. photo by Jerilee Bennett,The Gazette
Palmer Ridge's quarterback Ty Evans is the Peak Performer this week. Monday, October 10, 2016. photo by Jerilee Bennett,The Gazette

For Palmer Ridge quarterback, Ty Evans, heaven is on a field underneath bank lights.

Running onto the field with teammates beside him with the roar of the crowd in the background is where Evans wants to be.

"I have the most fun in my life under those lights," Evans said.

And Evans has worked to make sure he extends his career beyond high school.

On Tuesday, Evans announced he has committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks over Colorado, Kansas State and Northwestern.

"First of all, I love the coaching staff down there," Evans said on his commitment to Arkansas. "It was, from start, me and (offensive coordinator and quarterback) Coach (Dan) Enos have had such a great relationship. Coach (Bret) Bielema, is a great guy and I think we have similar personalities. Playing in the SEC would push me to be my best for the next two years. And when I get there, I will have to keep working."

Evans was one of the top quarterbacks last season in Colorado. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-3 signal caller led Palmer Ridge to an 8-3 record while throwing for 3,130 yards - second in the state - 30 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also possessed a 116 quarterback rating.

"It was a lot of fun having people around the country calling you and being interested in you," Evans said. "But at the same time I really had to make sure I stayed grounded and make sure I was the same person I was before that."

The Monument native comes from a family that understands the recruiting process. His oldest sister, Morgan, played volleyball at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and his older sister, Mariah, plays volleyball at North Carolina.

When Evans was 8, he would go down to the local elementary school with his friend, Anthony Roberson, on Saturdays. There, he and Roberson would be put through grueling three-hour workouts by their fathers.

At the time, Evans did not know what he was doing participating in those training sessions. He thought his father was the biggest jerk. But as he grew up, Evans realized his dad was preparing him for his future.

"They would be really hard on us the whole time just 'cause they know we could be good," Evans said. "The amount of goals that we had, it took a lot of hard work and they were instilling that at such a young age. At the time, it was rough, I didn't understand it. But I grew to learn that everything that (my dad) was doing was preparing me for what I am doing right now."

While Evans has determined where he will be playing on Saturdays, he has refocused his attention to Fridays.

Last year, Evans believes he showed Palmer Ridge's conference and the rest of the state that he is a solid pocket passer. In fact, Evans said that he played with a Brett Favre type of mentality.

"I think (Favre's) kind of gunslinger mentality, that 'I can make every throw,' the defense can't stop a guy like that," Evans said. "If they are going to take the top away, then I am going to hurt you with the slant. If you take the slant away, I am going to burn you over the top. To be that kind of weapon at quarterback is special. I really try to mold my game after that."

But Evans does not want to be just a gunslinger.

Last year, Evans felt the plays he made with his feet were underestimated. This offseason, he has been working on his speed to ensure he can be a run threat as well.

While becoming a dual-threat has become a priority for Evans, him running the ball won't be his first option. He still wants to air it out.

"I am going to throw the ball when I can," Evans said. "I have great field vision as well. I used to play point guard, and I believe that has contributed to it."

Along with improving his acceleration, he has been watching hours upon hours of film to help him better read defenses this upcoming season.

Improving his game to ensure he can play on Saturdays and possibly Sundays has been Evans' goal since he was little. But right now, he is not only improving himself to better his future, he is improving to assure Palmer Ridge makes a deep playoff run in 2017.

"We take every game, one game at a time. It's just like a playoff game," Evans said. "Every team's end goal is the state championship. I think that's a realistic goal this year."