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NFL Draft 2017 Q&A: Tulsa Quarterback Dane Evans

UDD goes one-on-one with the Golden Hurricane record setter Dane Evans.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

We recently just got the opportunity to sit down and conduct a one-on-one interview with upcoming draft prospect Dane Evans. Evans is coming off a historic career at Tulsa where he owns nearly every passing record in school history. In this interview we cover multiple topics, including Evans’ career at Tulsa and what he can bring to an NFL franchise.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Houston
Evans excelled in Philip Montgomery’s high tempo, vertical pass based offense.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Luckett: Why did you pick Tulsa to continue your playing career?

Dane Evans: It was an kind of an easy decision for me because it was my only offer. Everyone else that talked to me told me that I would’ve been the perfect guy to offer, but I was an inch and a half to short.

AL: What was the recruiting process like and what did Coach Bill Blankenship (Tulsa head coach from 2011-2014) sell to you?

DE: They told me when I committed that they were going to cater the offense to me. I knew a couple other guys (skill position players) that had committed and that made it even better. Also it’s a big family aspect. I know a lot of people talk about that, but Tulsa actually is.

AL: What was it like starting as a freshman quarterback?

DE: Looking back on it, I didn’t play very well but I’m thankful I got the opportunity. Obviously, I wanted to go in and win every game but that didn’t happen. I’m just really thankful that I did get that chance. It was just something really special as I was a 19-year-old kid and I realized I could play at the next level.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Navy
In his two years under Philip Montgomery, Evans threw 57 touchdowns with 6,780 passing yards.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

AL: With the hiring of Philip Montgomery and the new offense, were you maybe worried that you’d lose that starting spot? Any thoughts of transferring?

DE: No. I didn’t have any thought even though we went 3-9 and 2-10. I was really excited to hear that it was Coach Montgomery. He had recruited me at Baylor and they were one of the schools that had told me that I was too short. It was kind of funny how it all came full circle. The first thing he told me was that we had a lot of work to do. I thought he meant as a team. But he told me he meant “Me and you”. That really sold me on him. He never handed me anything and that’s why I liked him so much. Looking up some of the Baylor stats, I told myself that this guy knows exactly what he’s doing.

AL: What are you working on to adjust from the hurry up no huddle spread offense to the NFL style of play?

DE: It’s not really so much being uptempo because about 10-15 teams don’t even huddle anymore. The biggest thing for me is just being comfortable getting under center. When I first started training it felt so foreign to me. But now I haven’t taken a shotgun snap in almost three months and now I feel completely comfortable under center. My drops are fine and my footwork is good.

AL: Do you feel like you’ve adjusted well to taking snaps under center in your training?

DE: Yeah, I haven’t even taken a snap since our (bowl) game in Miami.

AL: You had six quarterback coaches and four offensive coordinators in your career at Tulsa. What was that like?

DE: It was different. I obviously didn’t go to Tulsa and think I was going to have a different guy (position coach) each year and learn a new offense. But honestly, I kind of liked it because there was never that sense of complacency. Every year I had to reprove myself whether it was to an offensive coordinator or a position coach.

AL: What are your strengths and weaknesses?

DE: I still need to work on my drops (from under center) because I’ve never taken them when the bullets are flying. I want it to be second nature where you don’t have to think about it. You just go out there and play. I feel really confident about every throw on the field but I can work on little things. Play fakes, angles, play-action stretch plays, things under center that I’ve really never ran.

AL: If a scout saw you play, what would they say is the best route your throw?

DE: I like every route, but I think I have a pretty good deep ball. Whether that’d be a deep post or a go. I also feel that I throw the dig route very well as well as a comeback. I think a scout would make a note about my release that it’s quick and accurate.

AL: What was the NFL Regional Scouting Combine in Houston experience like? What did you learn being there?

DE: It was really cool. We didn’t learn any plays, but we did get put through quarterback drills and there were some guys there who had coached in the NFL in the past. We tested on the forty, 5-10-5 (shuttle), vertical, and broad jump. I did pretty well on all those so it was good to see the improvements in four months of training.

AL: Any plans for a pro day?

DE: I’ll be doing it at Tulsa on March 10th.

AL: Any teams reaching out to you?

DE: My agents have been in contact with teams and they are working on a list of teams that have RSVP’d to my pro day.

AL: Did you ever think you would leave Tulsa as the school’s all-time leader in nearly every offensive record?

DE: It was always kind of a goal, but it wasn’t my forefront goal. I wanted our team to succeed. I knew if we had success those records would probably come. It’s still just crazy, it’s just weird to realize I had more yards than guys I grew up watching play.