Rashaan Evans finds new role at inside linebacker

Rashaan+Evans+finds+new+role+at+inside+linebacker

UA Athletics

04-01-16 MFB Spring Practice #7 linebacker Rashaan Evans (32) Photo by Robert Sutton

04-01-16 MFB Spring Practice #7 linebacker Rashaan Evans (32) Photo by Robert Sutton

Matthew Speakman

Now, he is trying to use the momentum of that game to help him have a successful spring.

“It [national championship performance] gave me a lot of confidence,” Evans said. “It helps me to build off that and continue to contribute to the team.”

This spring, Alabama is experimenting with Evans at inside linebacker. Throughout his career, he has been mostly a speed rusher, helping the Crimson Tide get to the quarterback on third down.

With the position change comes new adjustment. Linebackers who play on the inside have different responsibilities and must command the defense.

“The transition of becoming kind of a leader of the defense is kind of a little process, but I’m getting a hang of it,” Evans said.

Evans has played inside for every practice so far this spring, including the Crimson Tide’s first scrimmage on Saturday. He has been able to work alongside senior Reuben Foster, who started at that position last season. Foster has helped Evans get used to being in an unfamiliar environment for the first part of spring practice.

“Reuben’s always been a great guy that I can go to for any advice or with plays, anything like that,” Evans said. “That’s the thing with him, he’s always been a guy that I could come to.”

Alabama has been experimenting a lot with guys at different positions. Evans along with players like Ross Pierschbacher have seen their roles shift from last season. Contributors are having to learn new positions to help fill in the gaps that the team is missing from last season.

Alabama coach Nick Saban believes players like Evans and Pierschbacher add value to a team.

“I think that the more diversity a player has, which part of that is the ability to adapt, ability to adjust, is critical to the guy’s future as a football player,” he said. “The more different things you can do, the more different things you can play, the more value you have to this team.”

Saban went on to say that the ability for a player like Evans to play multiple positions and learn those positions allows the team to better adjust to in game situations. He said when the team needs a different look, players like that can help them adapt.

Evans may have a different role this spring, but he said he is still tackling it with the same mentality.

“This process is just me improving and me doing what I can to help the team right now,” he said.