High School Sports

Coast native Justin Evans signs rookie contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Justin Evans (21) participates in the team’s rookie minicamp May 5. Evans signed a rookie contract Thursday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Justin Evans (21) participates in the team’s rookie minicamp May 5. Evans signed a rookie contract Thursday. Associated Press File

Former Stone High and and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College standout Justin Evans has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced Thursday.

The Bucs have been busy this week signing their draft picks. First-rounder O.J. Howard, third-rounder Kendell Beckwith, fifth-rounder Jeremy McNichols and seventh-rounder Stevie Tu’ikolovatu have all signed contracts. Only third-rounder Chris Godwin remains unsigned from Tampa Bay’s 2017 draft class.

Evans had a circuitous route to becoming the 50th overall player selected in this year’s draft. After starring as a two-sport athlete for the Tomcats, he stayed close to home and attended MGCCC. It was with the Bulldogs that his recruiting skyrocketed. By the time he graduated from Perkinston he had his pick of SEC programs, ultimately signing with Texas A&M.

In two years with the Aggies, the Coast safety recorded 165 tackles, five interceptions and 11 passes defended.

According to Tampa Bay’s release, Evans will battle veterans Chris Conte, Keith Tandy and J.J. Wilcox for playing time.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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