Chris Evans Not Concerned About Being 'The Guy' Without Starter Karan Hidgon

(Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

Chris Evans Not Concerned About Being 'The Guy' Without Starter Karan Hidgon

Football

Chris Evans Not Concerned About Being 'The Guy' Without Starter Karan Hidgon

On Dec. 20, Karan Higdon made it known to the world he would skip the Peach Bowl to focus on the NFL.

One aspect of Michigan’s offensive approach became quickly apparent – backup Chris Evans is now “the guy” at the running back position.

But Evans does not see it that way.

“We are going into this game with the focus on winning,” he said. “I’m not even thinking about that. I’m thinking about attacking what I can attack.”

During his collegiate debut as a freshman in 2016, Evans took eight carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns in a 63-3 win over Hawai’i in the season opener. Evans said his leadership has grown since his first day in Ann Arbor, and it’s now at maximum strength.

Evans doesn’t feel he needs to carry to the team any differently now that he’s the eldest running back for the Wolverines. His tactic has always been simple – lead by example.

Running backs he will continue to preside over include freshman Christian Turner, freshman Hassan Haskins, junior Tru Wilson and others. Michigan also has one of the best running backs coming for the 2019 season in Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star Zach Charbonnet.

Throughout the 2018 season, the 5-foot-11, 216-pound junior running back has made 74 carries for 403 yards and four touchdowns. Evans has added 17 receptions for 142 yards and one score.

Karan Higdon (Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

Higdon had a few parting words for Evans before announcing his decision to focus on the NFL.

“(He said) do what I do, and let everything come to me,” Evans remembered of his conversation with Higdon. “If I need anything, just let him know.”

Higdon, a 5-foot-10, 202-pound running back, went for 1,178 yards and 10 touchdowns on 224 carries this season. As his backup, Evans took some notes.

Usually, Evans looks at the big picture to try and find the end zone. Higdon told him to break down the game and take each play yard-by-yard.

“Once you get a lot of carries, you have to be more vertical,” Evans said. “If you only need three (yards), get three. Don’t try to look for something else and get tackled in the backfield.”

Without Higdon in the fold, Evans said he has immediately implemented the new mindset for his run game. It will be on full display against the Gators at noon on Dec. 29.

“I have to bring that sense of him in the game,” Evans added.

Along with Higdon, defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. will not play in the Peach Bowl.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire / @EvanPetzold

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