It doesn’t matter exactly how he got there, but Michigan running back Chris Evans won the “Horse” tournament for his position group, and this is a source of great pride.
“I didn’t lose,” Evans said, smiling, last Sunday while working former Wolverine Jourdan Lewis’ camp at PAL Headquarters.
He also was late because of tutoring and received a bye in what he described as a “knockout tournament” held in Crisler Center.
“They said I won because I got the bye,” he said, smiling. “We’ve got a picture in the running backs room, we’ve got the bracket, triple-elimination.”
But now Evans, a junior, wants to win a bigger prize – an even bigger role in Michigan’s running game this fall. He had 685 yards on 135 carries for six touchdowns last season, behind Karan Higdon, who had 994 yards on 164 carries and scored 11 touchdowns.
Higdon will be back this fall, and he wants a more significant role in the offense, as well.
Ohio State running back Mike Weber, a Detroit Cass Tech alum and a former teammate of Lewis, also worked the camp. After rushing for 1,096 yards in 2016, he was relegated to a backup role last season after suffering a hamstring injury in preseason camp.
That gave freshman J.K. Dobbins a chance to run away with the starting job.
Evans said he planned to talk to Weber about how he has handled the situation at Ohio State.
“I just want to see what he’s thinking, because they’ve got a 1-2 punch going on, and we’ve got a 1-2 punch going on -- see what they do,” Evans said. "(See) how he handled it. He was on the same freshman All-Big Ten team I was, so I could see how he handles it. It seems like he’s handling it well, but I want to see man-to-man how he’s handling it.”
As the No. 2 back in the 1-2 punch scenario, Evans was asked how he has handled it so far.
“You’ve got to have a love for it,” he said. “You want to see everybody do good.”