When a teenager loves to play football, his attitude can become contagious, inspiring teammates and even coaches.
Shaquelle Evans, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior receiver at Inglewood, is such a player.
Off the field, Evans is quiet, reserved, even bashful. Put him in pads and a transformation takes place.
"I just change," he said. "I just go crazy."
In Inglewood's season opener two weeks ago against Long Beach Wilson, he caught 10 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown in a 39-26 defeat.
"He was incredible," Mincy said.
When Inglewood quarterback Marlon Johnson spotted what Evans was doing on a simple hitch pattern -- suddenly going deep -- he heaved the ball and it resulted in a 77-yard touchdown.
"The corner came up, but I said I could run by this guy," Evans said. "The quarterback saw me, threw it up, I ran under it and got it. It was my first receiver touchdown. That's not going to be my last."
Evans was a youth football standout, having started playing at 5.
"I love it," he said. "Whenever you love something, you do it."
Last Friday morning, Evans was told to come to the weight room after second period because a couple of USC coaches had come to watch video.
When Evans saw it was Pete Carroll in the weight room, his legs started shaking.
"I was like, 'Oh my God. That's Pete Carroll, coach of the No. 1 team in the nation.' That was crazy," he said.
Mincy said Carroll and other college coaches are going to want to keep track of Evans this season.
"He can be one of the best receivers," he said.
Evans has speed, good hands and can jump. But it's his refreshing approach that gives him an edge.
"He goes on the field with a lot of attitude -- hyper, clowning, just having fun," Mincy said. "He's a good person and you want to root for him."
Of course, Evans also has a serious side. He has been raised by a single parent, his mother, Kalisha Wright, and wants to do well in school "so I can help her in the future."
ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS
Evans has the right attitude on and off the field
The junior receiver from Inglewood is already drawing attention from top colleges.
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