Ryker Evans realizes childhood dream, signs to play football at Nebraska
ELWOOD, Neb. — The small-town kid is heading to big-time college football.
Ryker Evans took the next step in his quintessential Nebraska story on Wednesday. The Hi-Line football star signed his letter of intent to become a Cornhusker.
“Playing flag football when I was seven years old, I mean, I knew I wanted to go play in college and especially for the Cornhuskers, which I watched every Saturday growing up," Evans said. "Now having that opportunity, it’s just awesome.”
Husker coaches first contacted Evans after he posted eye-popping track times last spring. He went to some NU camps and impressed. He committed to Air Force while holding out hope for a preferred walk-on offer from the Huskers. When the call came, Evans kept his cool.
“They called me during school and I walked into one of my teacher’s closets and I took the phone call," Evans said. "I walked back out like nothing happened, ran home and told all my family. Then I came back the next day, I’m like, ‘Yeah I got an… opportunity to play for Nebraska.’ So that was really cool.”
Evans says Matt Rhule wants to try him at several positions, but he’d pick running back or wide receiver if he could. While his position is uncertain, Hi-Line coach Ben Spiegel says there’s no doubt Nebraska is getting a burner.
“Just a ton of speed and just a naturally-gifted athlete who’s going to work really hard to get even better,” Spiegel said.
Hi-Line is a four-year-old co-op between Elwood and Eustis-Farnam. Evans is the program’s first athlete to sign to play sports at a four-year school. According to Huskers.com, Evans will be the first Nebraska football player from Elwood since 1941.
“You can be at a small school that plays 8-man football and you can still achieve those goals," Spiegel said. "If you want to play for Nebraska, the opportunity is there if you put in the work.”
“It just shows my hard work and it turned into success," Evans said. "I’m proud to be from Elwood and I’m proud to represent Elwood down in Lincoln.”