ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jim Harbaugh announced Monday that running back Chris Evans, who was kicked off the team during the offseason, will be reinstated during the winter term and be back on the team for next season.
Michigan made an abrupt announcement in February that Evans was no longer a part of the football team. Evans tweeted that he was dealing with some academic issues and planned to remain at the University of Michigan.
While he wasn’t on the team, there has been speculation about whether Evans could return for the 2020 season. Harbaugh seemed to confirm that during Monday’s press conference.
“Chris will be reinstated for the winter term,” Harbaugh said. “When he gets back in school he’ll be able to participate fully in football again. My knowledge of the situation is that he had a meeting -- a scheduled meeting to see if he would be reinstated back into school, and it’s my understanding that he will be for the winter term.”
When he returns for the semester, he will be a full member of the football team again, allowing him to rejoin the team during the 2020 season, according to Harbaugh.
Evans has one year of eligibility remaining. In three seasons from 2016 to 2018, Evans rushed for 1,722 yards on 304 carries for an average of 5.7 yards per attempt. He also caught 40 passes for 394 yards. He’s scored 14 rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in his career.
With starting running back Karan Higdon moving on to the NFL and Evans suspended for the year, Michigan has turned to true freshman Zach Charbonnet and redshirt freshman Hassan Haskins for the majority of its running back duties.
Charbonnet leads the team with 559 rushing yards on 117 carries. He’s scored a Michigan freshman record 11 rushing touchdowns.
Haskins has rushed for 426 yards on 72 carries -- a stellar 5.9 yards per attempt. He’s scored two touchdowns.
Tru Wilson has gained 190 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Christian Turner has 171 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries.
Evans was a four-star all-purpose back in the 2016 recruiting class and the No. 338 overall player in the nation. Michigan’s new offense, run by Josh Gattis, would seemingly be perfect for a fast, shifty player such as Evans.