Wyoming RB Nico Evans to Play in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Oct 20, 2018; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back Nico Evans (22) against the Utah State Aggies at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

by staff–17 Jan ’19

Wyoming Cowboy running back Nico Evans will have an opportunity to display his talents for NFL teams on Saturday, Jan. 19 when he will play for the American Team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. 

      Sponsored by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the game will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.  The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:00 p.m., Mountain Time and will be televised live on FS1. 

      Evans’ American Team will be coached by former Wyoming Cowboy safety and former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano.  Other former Mountain West players who will participate for the American Team are: Nevada linebacker Malik Reed and Colorado State wide receiver Olabisi Johnson.  The National Team will be coached by former longtime NFL coach Mike Ticeand will include: New Mexico cornerback Jalin Burrell and UNLV running back Lexington Thomas.

      Evans had an outstanding senior season for the Cowboys.  He averaged 132.5 rushing yards per game in 2018 to lead the Mountain West and rank No. 4 in the nation.  The native of Los Angeles also averaged 139.10 all-purpose yards per game to rank No. 12 in the country.  His 1,325 total rushing yards ranked as the fourth best single-season in University of Wyoming school history and was the 13th best performance in the nation in 2018 as Evans accomplished that in only 10 games, having missed two games due to injury.

      He was selected First Team All-Mountain West Conference by conference head coaches and media for the first time in his career in 2018.

      Evans was a big part in the Wyoming Cowboys earning bowl eligibility for the third consecutive season in 2018, posting a 6-6 record.  He was also a key contributor to a team that posted an 8-5 record in 2017 and captured a victory in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  In 2016, he helped the Cowboys achieve an 8-6 record, earn a spot in the 2016 Mountain West Conference Championship Game and a berth in the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  He also contributed to wins over two Top 25 teams in the 2016 season.

      Information from last year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl indicates that: 112 College players participated, 84 colleges and universities were represented, 42 players received invitations to 2018 NFL Combine and 19 players were selected in 2018 NFL Draft.

      A year ago, Wyoming senior cornerback Rico Gafford played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  Gafford ended the 2018 season on the Oakland Raiders’ roster.

      More information on this year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl may be found at: collegiate.nflpa.com