Is TE Noah Evans a Blueshirt Option for USC?


With Bryce Dixon gone and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick being two years removed from his most recent playing time, USC is going to be thin at tight end in 2015. Could Noah Evans be an answer to depth issues?

RELATED: 5 Needs USC needs to address in the 2016 recruiting class

Evans, the son of former USC starting quarterback Vince Evans, is a 2015 three-star tight end out of Whittier Christian. Not only has he not signed with a college program, but hasn’t received an offer from an FBS program.

That has given him the liberty to seek out some options, one of which is the Trojans. Chris Swanson of is reporting that Evans will be on campus this summer to camp for Steve Sarkisian’s coaching staff.

That raises the question: how and where exactly would Evans fit in, if Sark brought him on?

Because USC hasn’t had Evans on campus for an official visit or had an in-home visit with him during the contact period, he is eligible to be a blueshirt counter. An ‘advanced scholarship’ player if you’re Sarkisian.

That would essentially allow the Trojans to add him as a depth player in the tight end rotation immediately, while not counting against USC’s initial scholarship allotment until 2016.

READ MORE: What is a blueshirt recruit?

Is it a move worthy of the Trojans seriously exploring? Perhaps, given his upside.

Evans had 91 catches, 1,257 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in a senior season that earned him first-team All-Olympic League honors.

On top of that, he had a three-star rating in the 247Sports Composite, which listed him as the 58th best tight end in the nation.

For a team that just took on preferred walk-on Caleb Wilson to add to the tight end depth despite being a high school quarterback, Evans is a bit more polished for the college game now, albeit still a project.

Yet, despite his upside and a big 6-foot-4, 215 pound frame, it’s telling that to this point, he has lacked an FBS scholarship offer.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Back in January, Bryan Whitehead of the OC Register profiled Evans, writing that Tennessee, ASU and Washington were all on his radar, but nothing has seemed to come of it.

The junior college route seems like the next chapter for Evans if a USC scholarship doesn’t come about. So for the Trojans, it comes down to a simple question.

Do you let Evans go to a junior college to season up and risk some other school getting his signature down the line, or do you throw him a scholarship and bring him on now out of pure need?

For context, USC currently has three scholarship tight ends expected to be competing for time this fall. That includes Cope-Fitzpatrick(pictured), freshman Tyler Petite and Oklahoma transfer Taylor McNamara.

Meanwhile, the Trojans’ 2016 recruiting class is already filling up, with just 14 scholarships remaining when you count McNamara and the pair of 2015 blueshirt Sarkisian has in waiting: Clayton Johnston and Deontay Burnett.

So back to the question. Is having Evans on the team now worthy the trade off of one fewer 2016 scholarship?

We’ll have to see what that answer is. Sarkisian and his staff can’t comment on Evans until the second day of camp, should the blueshirt option win out.

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