Sun Prairie DL Craig Evans

Sun Prairie's Craig Evans (72) tries to chase down Verona's Tyler Parker during a WIAA Division 1 state quarterfinal game last season.

Rob Hernandez -- State Journal

Sun Prairie defensive tackle Craig Evans orally committed to the University of Wisconsin football program Tuesday night, according to several recruiting websites.

The development was first reported by

Evans, a Class of 2014 recruit who is listed at 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, also had offers from Michigan State, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, and had drawn interest from a host of other programs nationally.

Part of the reason Evans decided to put an early end to his recruiting was a desire to join the other highly regarded state products.

“I just felt our class could be pretty special,” Evans said.

He is the fifth defensive lineman on board in the next two recruiting classes for the Badgers, joining Brookfield Central senior defensive end Chikwe Obasih; Brookfield East senior defensive end Alec James; senior tackle Darius Latham of North Central High School in Indianapolis; and Milwaukee Marquette junior defensive end Conor Sheehy.

He is also the fifth member of the Class of 2014, along with Sheehy; quarterback Chance Stewart of Sturgis, Mich.; Hartland Arrowhead guard George Panos and Monona Grove offensive tackle Jaden Gault.

Evans, who relocated to Sun Prairie at age 15 after a turbulent upbringing in Jackson, Miss. — a journey chronicled recently by Nick Sunderland-Saied of the Wisconsin State Journal — has drawn raves from  Cardinals coach Brian Kaminski and others in the Big Eight Conference.

"It's very rare that you get to see a kid that weighs 325 pounds that can run down and keep pace with some running backs in the league," Kaminski said. "He's very unique in that regard, but he's just gotta keep working. Like I said, I think the sky could be the limit for him. I don't know if he realizes yet how good he can be."

Said Verona coach Dave Richardson: "The hardest part is you always have to put a body on him, sometimes two or three. You better have good fakes and hope somebody can (block him) one-on-one, cause if not you're going to be in for a long night."

Jim Polzin contributed to this story.