What can happen, things, in 14 months! In April 2022, Evans Chuba was raising funds to follow his footballing dreams south of the border. A year later, the quarterback has just chosen from 20 full scholarship offers in NCAA Division 1.
In April 2022, La Presse told you the story of Evans Chuba, this 17-year-old Montrealer who dreams of the NFL and who had just been recruited by a Florida high school. His mother, Julie Bruyère, was crying out to raise the $26,000 needed to provide her son with housing and food for 24 months. The single mother, who works in a community organization, was ready to do anything to allow her son to follow his dream.
“What if you can’t raise $26,000?”
“I’m going to find another job,” she told us.
Primeur: Julie Bruyère and her son have raised the necessary funds. Even better: a donor reached out to fund Evans in full.
On screen, Evans smiles. A smile that exudes gratitude and sincere happiness.
Evans has been through all sorts of things since we first met 14 months ago. He notably spent a first year at the Clearwater International Academy in Florida. On the field, he worked very hard. And he got better. To the point where 20 American universities courted him and offered him a full scholarship.
On June 27, he made his decision: in 2024, he will join the Washington State University Cougars, in NCAA division 1. In a video filmed by his mother, the Quebecer can be seen announcing the news to his future coaches, who start shouting and clapping. Difficult to remain frozen in front of such a reaction.
“It’s the most ideal scenario I could hope for. Twenty days ago [the Cougars coaches] didn’t even know me that much. There, they offer me all that. They believe a lot in me, in my potential. »
“I’m the only quarterback they’ve brought in for an official visit and given an offer. That says a lot. I am very grateful for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and the Cougars. »
Evans was 17 when he left home to move to Florida last year. During this first year, the quarterback worked physically and mentally.
“The vast majority of days I would go home and be a little disappointed because I needed to improve,” says the likeable young man.
“The big thing is learning to be comfortable with discomfort. And to put ourselves in situations where we are able to adjust. »
To date, Evans considers he understands the game “10 times better” than at this time last year. He is now able to “balance” his emotions on the pitch and those off the pitch, he tells us.
“[As a quarterback], I’m literally the handlebars of the team. If I veer to one side, everyone will veer with me. If I am negative, that applies to everyone. I realized that if I have a good training, we have a good training. If I have a good game, we have a good game. »
“There was definitely adversity, but it worked,” he sums up.
It worked, and more than a little. Last January, a few college coaches came from different cities like New York and Boston to see Evans pitch. It was his first test and he did “very well”, according to the principal concerned. A few days later, he received his very first scholarship offer from the University of Massachusetts.
“Even today, I have a lot of love for them as people,” Evans said. Even though they knew I was going to get more offers and everything, they always supported me and gave me good advice. »
” I was happy ! he exclaims. It’s funny because I’ve been preparing for this all my life. […] I said to myself: in two days, maybe my life will change. »
Then came spring training. At each of his sessions, two to five university coaches were present to observe the Montrealer.
In June, Evans targeted three universities (Arkansas State, East Carolina and Washington State), which he then visited for three days each. Washington State was his last stop; on the eve of his return home, he made his decision. “I think it’s the best place for me,” he says.
Evans, who has yet to play a season with Clearwater Academy before making the jump to the NCAA, will therefore move from the southeast to the northwest of the United States in 2024. Clearly, this full scholarship represents a step closer to his dream, but he keeps the same recipe: watch “the process”.
Chuba currently ranks 69th among quarterbacks his age in the United States, according to 247Sports. A week and a half ago, he was 110th.
“I know I’m in the top 10. They’re just going to see it this year,” he says with a smile.
Before we end our interview, the 18-year-old footballer had a message for everyone who supported him financially during his fundraiser last year.
“I’m so thankful for what they did for us. It puts me in a situation where I can really perform at my best. They’ll never know how much it helped my mother. It relieves my mother a lot, it also relieves me. I’m very grateful. »
“They trust me,” he continues. I do this for them too. I’m touched. »