Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 28: Mike Evans '74

Mike Evans was a force on the field and the weight room

Heavy rains and thunder in New York City will be welcoming the returning football players along with the coaching staff today at Columbia. Training camp sort of begins today with check-in. Tomorrow is equipment day, and Monday the guys get on the field to really practice. Watch for weight updates on the roster sometime in the coming days.

Mike Evans '74

When people talk of sophomore stars on the great 1971 Columbia football team, they usually just mention defensive back Ted Gregory '74, who stood out from day one.

But one guy who sometimes gets lost in the shuffle is standout defensive end Mike Evans, who also made an immediate impact and helped the Lions make an Ivy title run in an era dominated by Cornell's Ed Marinaro and Dartmouth's legendary defensive wall.

Evans came to Columbia in 1970 from Classical High School in Springfield, MA. He took a leadership role on the freshman team as the play-calling middle linebacker, but varsity Head Coach Frank Navarro wanted Evans to move to defensive end and the switch worked.

For the next three seasons Evans was one of the best defensive ends in the Ivies, winning a spot on the All Ivy First Team in '71, an Honorable Mention All Ivy in '72, and Second Team All Ivy in '73.

He was quick and hard hitting, terrorizing running backs and QB's alike.

And he was just a fantastic physical specimen as well. Back in the 70's, Columbia used to enter all its varsity athletes in a series of competitions designed to determine who was the best all-around athlete. Evans won that title, (taking it from teammate wide receiver Jesse Parks '73), in early 1971.


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