BOONE — Invitations to linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither and running back Darrynton Evans will give App State Football two representatives at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.
The combine will be held from Feb. 24 through March 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Moving forward from a 13-1 season in which they finished in 18th in the Amway Coaches Poll and 19th in the AP Top 25, the Mountaineers tied for the most selections among Sun Belt Conference programs and had multiple invitees for the first time since 2011, when Mark LeGree, Daniel Kilgore and D.J. Smith were all drafted.
It's the third straight year and fourth in the last five that App State has had at least one player invited to the combine, as the 2020 draft prospects join Jalin Moore (2019), Colby Gossett (2018) and Ronald Blair (2016) in that grouping. Davis-Gaither and Evans were the Sun Belt's Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year, respectively, in 2019.
Named a top-100 draft prospect by multiple publications and a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele, the 220-pound Davis-Gaither enjoyed a strong showing at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in late January. He completed his senior season at App State with 104 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, eight PBUs, six quarterback hurries, a game-ending block of a field goal (in the 34-31 win at North Carolina) and one interception (also in the second half at UNC).
The versatile linebacker ranked fourth nationally among non-DBs in 2019 with his eight PBUs, and he was eighth among non-DBs in 2018 with seven PBUs, giving him 15 over his final two seasons.
According to PFF College, Evans led draft-eligible running backs in 2019 with four rushing touchdowns of at least 50 yards, was third with 43 runs of at least 10 yards and ranked second with a 136.8 passer rating when targeted by a throw. An early draft entry who was a fourth-year junior at App State in 2019, he is one of 30 running backs invited to the combine.
Evans amassed 2,884 career rushing yards (No. 9 all-time at App State) despite being the Mountaineers’ primary running back for just 23 games. The two-time Sun Belt Championship Game MVP and MVP of the 2019 New Orleans Bowl finished both the 2018 and 2019 seasons as the Sun Belt’s rushing champion with single-year totals of 1,187 and 1,480 rushing yards, respectively.
A dangerous kickoff returner with three returns for touchdowns among his 34 career TDs, he had 4,642 all-purpose yards at App State.