Mike Evans has been a warrior on the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer for two years, but until Tuesday night, many people were unaware that he was a warrior off of it as well. The 22-year-old Evans opened up to ESPN’s “E:60” about the tragic night that his father was murdered by his uncle in a dispute related to the domestic abuse of Mike’s mother. He described his father as a good parent, but said that he was abusive towards his mother on multiple occasions. At the time of the murder, Evans’ uncle Sam was living with the family and grew increasingly angry at the abuse of his sister. Sam Kilgore shot Mickey Evans and then stabbed him to death, widowing Heather Kilgore and leaving a nine-year-old Mike Evans without a father.
Despite this tragedy, Evans grew into a two sport athlete in high school before exploding on to the college football scene at Texas A&M. The rest is history to Bucs fans. After being selected 7th overall, Evans dominated his rookie season despite bad quarterback play, and in his sophomore campaign upped his yards and receptions with the help of Jameis Winston.
Evans has been somewhat polarizing among Buc fans due to his drops and the decrease in touchdowns from year one to year two. But the truth is that the stage is set for Evans to become one of, if not the best receiver in Buccaneer history. That may sound like a pretty hot take, but when you compare what he’s done over his first two seasons to past Buccaneer wide outs and consider the quarterback that will be throwing passes to him for the foreseeable future, it’s pretty easy to believe. The things that held back young Buccaneer receivers in the past – a lack of maturity, work ethic and overall talent – simply aren’t applicable to Evans.
Mike Evans exploding in 2016 is one of the safer bets you can make, and knowing what he’s persevered through should make it that much sweeter for Bucs fans.