The area's biggest quarterback recruit is officially back on the market.
Palmer Ridge quarterback Ty Evans announced via Twitter this afternoon that he has reopened his recruiting and decommitted from the University of Arkansas, citing the “coaching situation.”
“First of all I would like to say thank you to the Arkansas staff for recruiting me and to the whole Razorback community for all the support,” Evans said in a Tweet, released at 4:26 p.m., Sunday. “I am sorry to say due to the coaching situation at Arkansas I will be reopening my recruiting and decommitting.”
Arkansas fired head coach Bret Bielema immediately following Saturday’s 48-45 loss to Missouri as the Razorbacks concluded its season 4-8.
"I initially saw the news on Twitter yesterday after the game, and I was in shock," Evans said. "I knew there were rumors, but it was like my worst nightmare coming true because of how well they treated my family."
"I think it’s really hard on the kids because they obviously feel for the coaches and love the coaches," said Tim Jenkins, Evans' quarterback coach at Jenkins Elite. "As much as we want it to be about the school, they’re always going to commit to the people. And in the nature of our business right now, when athletes do commit so early, decommitment is going to happen because of how fast these coaches get hired and fired."
Evans announced his verbal commitment in July, 2017 after his impressive sophomore campaign in which he threw for 3,130 yards and 30 touchdowns.
"I know he loved Arkansas and the coaches, it was his first offer, and that’s always a big deal," Jenkins said. "But just from his standpoint, he doesn’t know who will come in and what style they’ll bring, it’s just one of those situations it’s what he has to do"
Now through his junior season Evans has led his team to a perfect 13-0 start heading into the Class 3A state championship game against Erie next week. His Bears average more than 45 points a game thanks to Evans’ consistency and the team’s well-rounded offense.
Evans has 3,318 passing yards so far this season, and a .617 completion percentage. He is also fresh off of his best rushing game of the year with 39 yards on the ground against Palisade in the state semifinals. He has 39 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 2017 and is ranked second in the state in passing yards, just 87 yards shy of the top-ranked QB from Fairview.
“As the University of Arkansas is a special place I look forward to speaking with the new coaching staff,” Evans said in his Twitter statement. “On a personal note, I wanted to thank Coach Bielema, Coach Enos, and Coach Franks for the way they treated me, my sister during her injury, and the rest of my family. I can tell they genuinely care about me as a person and those friendships will last a lifetime.”
Evans has been invited to the 2018 Army All-American combine at the Alamo Dome in early January. Jenkins said the national combine will help Evans solidify his national ranking and help him climb the draft boards, but his recruiting process will go into full swing again this summer at college camps.
But for now, Evans has one focus - winning the Class 3A state title.
"I have a couple of schools in mind to go visit, but as of right now my focus is on the state championship this weekend," Evans said. "I know everything with my recruiting will be there after this week - so the next few days is all about winning state."