Michigan’s running back room took quite a hit last season, with Chris Evans having to step away from the team for a season due to “academic issues.” Since Evans had to make that difficult announcement, he made it clear that he had plans to return to the field for the Wolverines in 2020.
On Thursday, head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Evans is back and working to be a factor on the field for Michigan next season. The head coach told Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News that he’s excited about the return of his running back.
“He had a chance to practice those three days [before the Citrus Bowl],” Harbaugh said. “He looked good in the three days he was able to practice for bowl practice. …Optimistic and excited about [his commitment to getting back].”
Harbaugh on Chris Evans being back: "He had a chance to practice those three days (last month). He looked good in the three days he was able to practice for bowl practice. … Optimistic and excited about (his commitment to getting back)"
— angelique (@chengelis) January 17, 2020
Evans appeared in 37 games from 2016-18 and was a key cog in Michigan’s rushing attack during his first three seasons. His most productive year came in his sophomore season in 2017, rushing for 685 yards and six touchdowns on 135 carries. Evans also caught 16 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.
In 2018, Evans accounted for 423 yards and four touchdowns on the ground while adding 148 receiving yards and one touchdown catch.
For his career, Evans has piled up 1,722 rushing yards, an additional 392 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns.
Evans will compete with Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins in the backfield during spring practice and fall camp, hoping to work his way back into the rotation. Charbonnet was the team’s leading rusher as a freshman with 726 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Haskins added 622 yards and four scores.