Football: UMass fullback Evans signs with NFL

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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While the upcoming spring game provides a glimpse into the future of the Massachusetts football team, the NFL has given reason to look at its past.

Former UMass fullback Breyone Evans became the first of an expected group of Minuteman alums to sign pro contracts with the NFL. Evans, 22, signed with the Carolina Panthers on Monday. Carolina signed nine other rookie free agents – to go along with nine draft picks – and Evans will compete with them for a roster spot. The Panthers now have seven running backs and two fullbacks on their roster.

More signings of former UMass players could be imminent. Tight end Brad Listorti and running back Matt Lawrence were considered to have higher draft stock than Evans by experts. Both are likely to sign somewhere in the coming days, as is place-kicker Chris Koepplin.

Evans graduated from Syracuse and came to UMass as a graduate student last year with one year of eligibility remaining. He played in all but one game, starting in half of his 12 appearances. His one carry during the season went for a 5-yard touchdown against Maine. He had three catches (for 15 total yards and a touchdown) in 2007, all coming against Colgate.