Former Prairie Ridge quarterback Samson Evans was finally ready to show the Iowa football coaching staff what he could do after being hampered by leg injuries his first two seasons.
When the COVID-19 outbreak forced the end of college sports for the 2019-20 school year and sent students home, Evans was not going to get that opportunity.
On Monday, Evans announced on Twitter that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal. He wrote: “Excited for what the future holds.” There was a screenshot noting that the University of Iowa had submitted his notification of transfer and the following quotes: “After much thought and talking to my family, I’ve decided to enter my name into the NCAA transfer portal. I’d personally like to thank the University of Iowa and all the coaches for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams. However, it is time for me to move on and I’m excited for what the future may hold.”
Evans, a three-time Northwest Herald Football Player of the Year, did not see any game action in two seasons with the Hawkeyes and was held back by a lingering ankle injury from his senior high school football season, then by a hamstring injury.
Iowa never got to see the speed and punishing running style that Evans displayed while leading the Wolves to back-to-back Class 6A state championships in 2016 and 2017 as their option quarterback.
Evans was selected as Northwest Herald Football Player of the Year three times and is No. 8 on the IHSA career rushing list (6,386 yards) and No. 4 on the all-time touchdown list (112).
“I was going to use the spring for the opportunity to sho what I could do and put me on track to play next year,” said Evans, who has three remaining years of eligibility. “When I learned we weren’t going back, that pretty much shut the door of me being able to show what I could do. In the end, I believed it was time for me to go.”
Another former Prairie Ridge player who had been at Iowa, offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins, entered the transfer portal recently as well. Jenkins previously announced he was leaving the Hawkeyes and was not enrolled at the school this spring.
Iowa initially recruited Evans (6-foot, 217 pounds) as a wide receiver, but he was switched to running back after redshirting as a freshman.
Evans is working out with his brother Carter, who will be a senior at Prairie Ridge and has numerous NCAA Division I offers himself as a tight end or linebacker. Their older brother Shane played as an offensive lineman at Northern Illinois and Purdue.
“My body, right now, is the best it’s felt in a long time,” Evans said. “My body was finally feeling like 100% and I was ready to go. I didn’t want to wait and sit while I feel at my peak.”
Samson and Carter run every day, then work out at Shane’s fiancee’s house or at a cousin’s house. Samson is eager to find a new school and get acclimated to its offense.
“If football does pick back up in the fall, I’d like to be able to go right in and be able to learn their playbook in the summer,” Evans said. “Once I tweeted that out, it lets people know what’s going on so it makes it easier. I have a lot of people following me and messaging me back.
“Mostly right now it’s (Mid-American Conference) schools. (The level) doesn’t matter to me. I really just want to play and contribute. I don’t want to sit and watch, I want to be in on the action.”