Anthony Evans III will make sure you don't forget about Converse Judson

Joe Perez

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The 2021 iteration of the Converse Judson Rockets didn't have any answers on the football field for the first time in 44 years.

The six-time state champion powerhouse was in the midst of their first losing season since 1976. Their head coach, Rodney Williams, had just been fired in the middle of the year after a disheartening, Hail Mary homecoming loss to San Antonio East Central brought their overall record to 2-5. At that point, they didn't need a win to earn a district championship or advance in the playoffs. The Rockets just needed to stop to bleeding.

Staring at undefeated Smithson Valley, Judson needed someone to step up. Anthony Evans III answered the bell.

Down 20-14 in midway through the fourth quarter, Judson called a gutsy flea flicker. The Smithson Valley corner bit on the run-fake for a split second, and Judson quarterback Michael Burroughs lofted a 59-yard touchdown to the 6-foot, 170-pound Evans, who burned past the defense in their moment of hesitation. Smithson Valley answered with a touchdown that threatened to hand Judson yet another loss, until Evans provided the knockout punch. With 2:48 left in the fourth, Burroughs drifted in the pocket and lofted a bomb off his back foot, hitting Evans on a 65-yard post route and the game-winning score.

It was a breakout game for the speedy wide receiver, who finished with eight catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Judson finished the season 4–6, but Evans continued to impress on his way to a unanimous District 27-6A First Team All-District selection.

Now ahead of Evans' senior season, Judson is looking for a return to glory coined the "Rocket Resurgence". Judson alum Mark Soto, who recently led San Antonio Johnson to a 10–1 record, is in as head coach and he introduced a revamped weight room for the offseason. The football program has made numerous changes to jumpstart their rebound, but Evans is still there, set to step into his role as a leader of the rebuild. And he's only gotten faster.

Evans enjoyed a prolific track season this spring. He earned the bronze medal at UIL State Meet in the 200-meter dash with a personal record of 21.10 seconds, ran a blazing 10.27 second 100-m dash and broke Judson's long jump record with a 24' 2.75" mark. As his performances went viral on social media, the offers started to roll in.

A long-time commit to Arkansas, Evans chose to decommit from the Razorbacks on April 22 and re-open his recruitment as more schools started to take interest. The three-star prospect holds 28 offers, most notably from Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. 

He'll have an opportunity to earn more stars next to his name with several high-profile games in his upcoming senior year. Nine of the Rockets' 10 regular season opponents in 2022 made the playoffs last year. Judson will face District 28-6A Champion San Antonio Johnson, Soto's previous school, in the first game of the year before taking on three-time defending 6A State Champion Austin Westlake in Week 2.

The Rockets and their new head coach are in for a trial by fire, so it's a good thing Evans has blazing speed.

 

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