Former Bulldog and NFL player Demetric Evans ready to walk the walk

Demetric Evans and his wife Dr. Aungel Evans pose after UGA's graduation ceremonies Friday at Stegeman Coliseum. (Photo provided by Demetric Evans)

Demetric Evans and his wife Dr. Aungel Evans pose after UGA's graduation ceremonies Friday at Stegeman Coliseum. (Photo provided by Demetric Evans)

ATHENS — For years Demetric Evans has talked the talk. Now he’s ready to walk the walk.

The graduation walk, specifically.

It has been 11 years almost exactly since Evans last attended classes at UGA and played football for the Georgia Bulldogs. A defensive end, he bolted town immediately following his senior season and spent nine years playing ball in the NFL. But since leaving Athens in December of 2000, Evans vowed to return one day to walk in graduation ceremonies.

Today, Evans will be in Stegeman Coliseum along with nine other current and former football players, 27 student-athletes overall and more than 1,700 fellow graduates to do just that. Evans has earned his UGA degree in child and family development from the College of Family & Consumer Sciences.

“It’s something I always expected to do, but it’s a good thing I’m getting it behind me now,” said Evans, a native of Haynesville, La.

For Evans, getting here was no small undertaking, literally and figurative. Start with the fact that he currently resides in Walnut Creek, Calif. Then there was that whole matter of finding and enrolling in classes and that would transfer to UGA.

For that, Evans offers a special thanks to Connie Rash, the director of student services for UGA’s College of Family & Consumer Sciences.

Evans completed the coursework he needed – about one year’s worth — at San Jose State. On Thursday, Evans flew to Atlanta from San Francisco along with his wife and young son and a small entourage of people that included his financial adviser, his agent and some friends and family.

“I’ve got a gang of people who are going to be there,” he said proudly. “We’re going to have a house full.”

Asked why he’d go to such trouble and expense, Evans laughed.

“Well, it’s something that I earned,” he said. “It’s something that I promised myself when I was in high school being recruited to become a college athlete. Playing football is great. But that’s the only thing that would empower me as an individual, a degree.”

It’s not as though Evans is desperate for a job. His last contract with the San Francisco 49ers, which expired at the end of the 2010 season, paid him $3.8 million. Also, his wife, Dr. Aungel Evans, is an OB-GYN practicing medicine in California. They live on the West Coast but have a permanent residence is in Dallas, Texas.

But then again, Evans has always done the unexpected. When he graduated from Haynesville High in rural Louisiana as one of the top prospects in the state, he signed with Georgia rather than follow the herd to LSU. With the Bulldogs, he started only three games and wasn’t given much of a chance in the NFL. But he made the Dallas Cowboys’ roster as an undrafted free agent and played nine NFL seasons.

Effectively retired now at age 32, Evans many expected him to kick back and play a lot of golf. Instead, he has chose to finish his undergrad work and now is contemplating pursuing a Masters.

“I want to change people’s lives, because I grew up in a small town in a single-parent home where getting a college degree and playing in the NFL seemed unachievable,” Evans said. “Not only have I finished my degree, but I played in the NFL for three times the life expectancy of the average player. I’m an example of what hard work and dedication can bring.”

While in the NFL, Evans founded the “92 Blessings Foundation.” Named for the jersey he wore most of his football career, he would select 92 families each to assist with food and gifts during the holidays.

Now he envisions a new mission.

“I’m hoping to improve the literacy rate,” he said. “I want to raise funds to start an after-school program in my hometown for under-privileged kids, and all kids really, to prepare for the ACT and SAT and to get tutoring for classes they’re struggling in so they can increase their GPA and compete for college scholarships.”

As for his own future, Evans is not sure yet exactly what’s in store.

“That’s the blessing of it, that I don’t have to rush to figure out what’s next,” Evans said. “My time is up in the NFL. I enjoyed each moment and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But now it’s on to a new adventure.”

PLAYING DAYS

  • Evans played in 38 games for the Bulldogs but made only three starts as he was at Georgia at the same time as Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, Charles Grant and Josh Mallard.
  • He finished his UGA career with 86 tackles, 2 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss.
  • Evans played nine NFL seasons, three at Dallas, four at Washington and two at San Francisco. Again, he was mainly a backup but played regularly. He finished with 174 tackles and 14.5 sacks.

– Chip Towers

208 comments Add your comment

I remember

December 16th, 2011
8:40 am

Congrats! A man can achieve beyond expectstions.

rhbDAWG1

December 16th, 2011
8:44 am

Congratulations to a DGD!

Big Albany Dawg

December 16th, 2011
8:50 am

Thanks for an uplifting story.

icallbs

December 16th, 2011
8:51 am

Awesome…maybe he can speak to the team while he is in town. There are a few self-entitled cases that might benefit…

Jerry Blooger

December 16th, 2011
8:51 am

Great job Hoss! Good luck in the future !

DawgNation

December 16th, 2011
8:54 am

Wait for it. Wait for it. A Tech idiot will be on here soon to make a joke about his degree. Congratulations Mr. Evans. You made not only your school proud but your family as well. DGD!

Trex

December 16th, 2011
8:54 am

This is what emodies the true spirit of collegiate atheletics.

The sin, here is that we do not have as many respondents stating what a “good dawg” this guy is.

However in retrospect he isn’t a good dawg, but a great man with a vision to empower and change the world.

I am disappointed in the “Dawg Nation” for so few responses.

slydog

December 16th, 2011
8:57 am

Bravo. We need more of this. Good story Chip.

slydog

December 16th, 2011
9:00 am

@Trex

Right on. This is what these “kids” and our current student-athletes need to see. Taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

Brad Komminsk

December 16th, 2011
9:01 am

Mr. Evans, while you are in town, please look up a certain running back and show him what a real man looks like. congratulations. well done sir.

Dap01

December 16th, 2011
9:05 am

Great job Mr. Evans!

Top Row Dawg

December 16th, 2011
9:05 am

3.8 million and retired, go you hairy dog!

NCDawgs Fan

December 16th, 2011
9:06 am

Great story and a great example for the current Dawgs.

JB

December 16th, 2011
9:08 am

Damn good Dawg…Take that Tech…….Speaking of Crowell, I’m not feeling good about him. The FACT that he wasn’t with the team this week at the Outback eating, The FACT that Richt was in that North Carolina’s RB house Sunday night after the SECCG and the FACT that Richt had this RB Davis who decommitted from Florida stand by him the entire time ( as reported) at practice this week tells me Crowell is somewhere finding himself…….

TampaDawg

December 16th, 2011
9:11 am

Great story, great comments on here so far (nice job guys) and even better, a person tagged as Brad Komminsk. “I’ll take obscure former Braves players for $200 Alex” ..
“Had a big nose and tabbed once as ‘The Next Great Thing’”

“Who is … Brad Komminsk?”

“That’s correct”

Jake Dawg

December 16th, 2011
9:14 am

DGD. The epitome of perseverance, both as an undrafted free agent playing nine years and then going back to get his degree. Well done!

Dawg Whisperer

December 16th, 2011
9:15 am

Thanks for using the gifts God blessed you with for good. You’ve done your momma proud.

DawginLex

December 16th, 2011
9:15 am

JB

Someone else posted that IC DID practice and that he actually spoke to Mike Davis.

UGAgrad71

December 16th, 2011
9:19 am

What a joy to read a story like this. Much better than the current Bears player busted for distribution, trying to move 500K a week in drugs. Hope he gets about 20 years to think about his stupidity.

Daddy Dawg33

December 16th, 2011
9:23 am

This story deserves National recognition…it is too good to keep local.
This is a young man of character and vision…that is why he has been Blessed with good fortune.
UGA also deserves recognition for providing an environment that helped him stay focused and to mature.
Bring him back each year for the Freshman to hear his story!

GT Brian

December 16th, 2011
9:25 am

Well Done Mr. Evans- congrats on seeing it through! He is a great example of what every college athelete should strive for. Good Luck!

DawginLex

December 16th, 2011
9:25 am

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Call it the 2012 BCS National Exhibition Game instead. The LSU Tigers are my 2011 national champion, case closed. No, Alabama, you don’t get a do-over. Not in this sport. Not in the absence of a plus-one (at the very least). You CAN and SHOULD be allowed to WIN your way into a rematch – that would be great, in fact. Having Alabama play Oklahoma State to then EARN another shot at LSU would be PERFECTLY FINE in my book. However, the current system places teams into politically-arranged rematches. That’s not cool. Not ever. Mind you, all of this would be said with just as much consistency had Alabama beaten LSU. The Tigers would not have deserved a rematch under these same circumstances. It’s all a point of principle. No politically-arranged, unearned do-overs in college football. Period.

Ever. For any reason. At all.

Matthew Zemek from CFN.Scout.com gets it.

ProudFan

December 16th, 2011
9:25 am

Way to go Demetric! I have never met you but your story is an awesome read! Good luck with your endeavors!
Your are a great role model in a time where we need more men to step up.

Mtn Dawg

December 16th, 2011
9:28 am

Pretty cool!

Dr. Phil

December 16th, 2011
9:33 am

This is a great success story. It also speaks well of UGA administrators who worked with Evans to help him realize his goal of graduation.

Scott

December 16th, 2011
9:39 am

Wonderful day to be a Dawg! Headlines about promising cancer research at UGA and now a success story about one of our former players. Glory, Glory to old Georgia!

JT

December 16th, 2011
9:40 am

I hope recruits at every school get to meet more guys like this. Pursue your NFL dreams, but finish your education and become someone you yourself would be proud to know.

RedandBlackDAWG

December 16th, 2011
9:41 am

Now, that’s what I call a great success story, and an outstanding man. It only goes to show, that if you want something enough in life, you can obtain it. I am sure he will do well, in his second profession and make his family proud.

DawginLex

December 16th, 2011
9:48 am

Great story about Demetric.

Congrats on graduation

JDawg1785

December 16th, 2011
9:52 am

Great story. Congrats to you, Demetric! Best of luck in your professional life beyond football!

Worm

December 16th, 2011
9:53 am

John Galt

December 16th, 2011
9:53 am

Anon1

December 16th, 2011
10:01 am

Excellent story on keeping your commitment to yourself. Not an easy task 11 years down the road. An inspiration to his kids. You have to wonder who was on the UGA depth chart for him to only start three games with a nine year NFL career.

Devil's Advocate

December 16th, 2011
10:10 am

RPollardRealtor

December 16th, 2011
10:11 am

Wow a feel good story on the AJC I love it! Excellent story that’s for bringing this up! Go Dawgs! Finish your Degree Kids!

Facts

December 16th, 2011
10:12 am

An Inconvenient Truth

US News Ranking
GT: 36
UGA: 62

Endowment Size
GT: $1.5 BILLION
UGA: $600 million

Avg. Starting Salary
GT: $59,000
UGA: $44,000

Football
GT: 4 National Titles (1990)
UGA: 2 National Titles (1980)

Basketball
GT: 2 Final Fours, Chris Bosh, Derrick Favors, Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack
UGA: 1 Final Four.

Baseball
GT: Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Brown, Matt Weiters
UGA: Gordon Beckham.

Golf
GT: Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink, David Duval, Bryce Molder
UGA: Bubba Watson.

GT is a GLOBAL brand.
UGA is a regional brand.

Vince

December 16th, 2011
10:14 am

Demetric—–You are what “student athlete” is all about!!! We are proud to have you as a DAWG!!

Anon1

December 16th, 2011
10:15 am

Hey Facts, what does any of that have to do with this story??

GTBob

December 16th, 2011
10:19 am

I can’t really bash the guy. He finished the degree because he wanted to, not because he needs one. And he finished it somewhere else so he might have learned something.

Mako

December 16th, 2011
10:21 am

Facts…..still claiming 1/2 a football NC…..ok…how about baseball UGA NC 1 Turd U 0

Tech72

December 16th, 2011
10:21 am

Does not matter what his degree is in, great story and congrats to the young man.

RxDawg

December 16th, 2011
10:23 am

Nice story Chip. It’s really cool that he had so much UGA pride, that he chose to make sure his degree came from here. Despite the hurdles it took, and the ease it would take to continue corses at a closer school.

Hackberry Holland

December 16th, 2011
10:24 am

Big Time---NOT!!!!!

December 16th, 2011
10:24 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks. Facts–The inconvenient fact is that you are a moron. GOSH—you didn’t leave out anything(much). What a conveniently slanted bit of deceptive writing!! Get to your doctor quick for your psychotropic meds. A GLOBAL BRAND? I can’t stop laughing!!!!

RealDawg

December 16th, 2011
10:27 am

Anon1

December 16th, 2011
10:28 am

Well this blog has deteriorated to nothing to do with the story. Time to go.

GTBob

December 16th, 2011
10:29 am

It’s really cool that he had so much UGA pride, that he chose to make sure his degree came from here.

Im pretty sure the fact that he had already finished most of his degree at UGA had more to do with it then his UGA pride. Plus UGA classes probably don’t transfer well to other schools.

intheknow

December 16th, 2011
10:32 am

facts and GTBob… definitely have to be the most inmature people on this site. IF you two are examples of the quality of individuals that graduate for Tech I feel sorry for Tech…but I have a feeling they feel sorry for you two and are embarrassed that you two are Tech supporters.Some people just don’t get it!

bucket

December 16th, 2011
10:35 am

What a great article, Chip. Mr. Evans’ phone should be blowing up from high school administrators wanting to get this guy to their school to tell his story.

JB

December 16th, 2011
10:35 am

Here’s hoping GTBob get’s for Christmas in this order. 1. A Job 2. A wife, or at least a woman. 3. Some time to analyze his own teams shortcomings. 4. Some heart to know that UGA folks are smart and hard working and really don’t care or think about Tech much ( get a hint).5. some other interest in life other than UGA football.