Up until late last week, Sun Prairie (Wisc.) and Rivals250 defensive tackle Craig Evans wasn't sure where he would play at the next level. He had been committed to Wisconsin for quite a while, but Michigan State came on strong prior to the dead period.
Over the weekend things came into focus for Evans, who said he was 100 percent committed to the Badgers following the Offense-Defense Bowl in Orlando.
"I've decided I'm sticking with Wisconsin," Evans said. "I'm not visiting anywhere else. All that is over with now."
He reversed course a little bit on Monday, after adding an offer from Tennessee. He'll take an official visit to Knoxville later this month.
"I've scheduled a visit for January 24th," Evans told Volquest.com on Monday "Big Charles [Mosely] is going to be there this weekend too. I have never been to Tennessee, but I'm looking forward to seeing it."
After flirting with the Spartans, it ultimately came down to Evans wanting to stay close to his older brother, who brought him from Mississippi to Wisconsin a few years ago.
"Growing up in Mississippi things were kind of dark," Evans said. "But when my brother drove all the way down from Wisconsin and brought me back with him, I feel like it happened for a reason. Ever since then nothing but good things have been happening to me."
Evans said after thinking it over, he knows Madison is where he fits best, both on and off the field.
"I want to stick that ride out and I feel like Wisconsin is a great place for me," he said. "It's somewhere I can go and help change the culture. I can be something different there … something a little bit different and I look forward to that."
Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen has been a big part of Evans' recruitment and their relationship is a big reason why he decided to stay in the Badgers' class.
"Coach Andersen is a great guy with a lot of knowledge," Evans said. "He's got knowledge I want to have. I want to learn from him and he wants to learn from me and my background and my story. I just look forward to that playing out."
Based on his conversations with coaches, Evans is expecting to make an impact from the moment he steps on campus.
"Coach has been talking about me doing big things," he said. "For one, I take it as an honor when a coach tells me I have an opportunity to come start for Wisconsin next year. So If I do what I have to do, hustle hard and work in the offseason and grind it out, I have a pretty good chance of starting next year for a great program and for me that means a lot."
Will his love of the Badgers be enough to hold off the late-charging Volunteers? A week in Orlando hanging around other Tennessee commits has him very curious to see what Knoxville has to offer.
"All those guys who I hung out with for the all-star game talked about how electrifying the campus is and the fans are," Evans said. "They are all so excited about getting there and what all is happening at Tennessee. I'm looking forward to seeing it in a few weeks."
Woody Wommack is a Southeast Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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