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The Bulldogs opened their SEC schedule against a top 10 team, South Carolina, in the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium and won a thrilling contest 41-10 in front of a sold-out crowd.
A portion of that crowd was made up some of the nations top recruits and few are more highly touted than Auburn (Auburn, Ala.) linebacker Rashaan Evans.
Evans is a top target for the Georgia coaching staff, and they made that clear to the 4-star linebacker on Saturday.
"Man, it was amazing, man," Evans said of his visit to UGA. "It was probably one of the greatest visits I've ever taken. They definitely laid out the red carpet for me. It almost felt like I was taking and official visit, but it wasn't so that is pretty much how they set everything up for me. Going up there and seeing the coaches again kind of made me feel like I was at home. They definitely treated my family and me really good."
The UGA staff made Evans feel welcome by their actions, but that didn't stop the Georgia Head Man from sitting down with the talented defender and his parents to explain how he is a wanted man in Athens.
"I got to talk to Coach Mark Richt before the game, and he pretty much told me and my parents that they want me," he said. "He told my parents that I am a priority for them. He told me that they want me and need me and they definitely want to continue build that relationship with me."
Evans mother, Chenavis, made the trip to the Classic City for the first time and according to the Rivals100 prospect, she hit it off with the Georgia staff.
"My mom came up for the first time and they showed us a really good time," Evans said. "Pretty much, in the recruiting process right now, the key to getting me is my mom. If they can win over my mom, they have got me pretty much. With them showing us a good time and Mark Richt speaking to my mom about how they want me and how they want to use me, it made my interest level go up and hers too. She seemed to get along really well with Coach Richt and Coach Grantham."
At this point in the process, Evans says that his mother doesn't have a preference on where she wants her son to play college football.
As any parent would, she wants what is best for him.
"Right now, it really doesn't matter too much to her," Evans said. "She does have a fine line on where she wants me to go because she doesn't want me far away. My parents and I talk a lot about the distance thing and UCLA is definitely one of my interests, but my mom is kind of wanting me to go wherever I am comfortable. I think that she would be fine with any school. I mean, she is a mom and part of her wants me to stay close to home. But she has been pretty cool about it and knows that the process is about me. She wants me to go somewhere they will treat me good."
Evans was also impressed with the game atmosphere at Sanford Stadium and the way that the UGA defense adjusted in the second half.
"Pretty much, from my point of view, I thought the game was crazy," he said. "It was one of those types of games where you didn't know what was going to happen. Georgia pulled it off and the whole team just got it together. It was a back and forth battle with South Carolina. The defense handled the whole thing well. In the second half, they kind of shut South Carolina down. At the end, I kind of thought (Steve) Spurrier gave up. He had two timeouts and didn't take them and I think that was the defense making their mark and saying they weren't going to lose that game."
He also closely observed the position that the Georgia staff wants him to play should he choose to play his college ball in Athens, and Evans sees opportunity.
"I saw some production from the outside linebackers but I also saw where I could come in and help them out," he said. "I saw some things where if I came in I could help out. They feel like I can play that Jarvis Jones role in the defense and change the game. They are looking for that guy to step up, and they definitely think I can play that position and be that guy. I was looking at that and they have guys that can play. They are young on defense and once they get that experience and the whole system, they are going to be great. I'm telling you."
Coming into this visit to Georgia, Evans was trying to decide whether he wanted to make it an official or unofficial visit.
He and his family decided to make the trip to Athens and unofficial one and they now plan to return to Georgia for an official visit later in the year.
"I'm planning on taking my official visit in December for the senior (Gala) banquet," Evans said of his visit plans. "Georgia is going to be the last official visit that I take. I'm going to visit UCLA later this month (September 28). Then after that I'll be choosing who will be next after that between Auburn and Alabama. I know I will be visiting them between that UCLA official visit and the Georgia official visit."
So how did this visit affect Georgia's chances for the playmaking linebacker?
"This visit definitely helped (UGA), man," he said. It definitely boosted my interest level a lot. Georgia set my interest level in stone with them. They didn't take off because it wasn't an official visit. They definitely hit on all cylinders on the things I was looking for so when they did that, it definitely caught my eye. I know one thing. When I go on my official, it is going to be some crazy set up and I'm excited about it. When they hosted me this time, it definitely opened my eyes."
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