Coming from a troubled neighborhood, without a father, and playing only one unremarkable year of high school football DeQuin Evans’ story exemplifies the Rudy Award. After graduation DeQuin worked as a bagger in a grocery store to help support his family.
While still working, he tried out for a Junior College Football team as a walk on and made the team despite his lack of football experience. He worked his way into becoming a standout player and eventually earned a scholarship in to the University of Kentucky. During his first season he earned All-SEC honors while leading the team in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss. Even though he had only been in the program one year, his teammates elected him team captain for the 2010 season.
DeQuin’s story took another turn this year when he was struck by significant shoulder and ankle injuries before and during the season. Dequin, however, has continued to play and has missed only one game with injuries that would have sidelined virtually any other player. It is fitting that his perseverance has been rewarded by playing his best football in the final two games of the season and helping the Wildcats reach bowl eligibility.
Through it all Dequin has always kept an attitude of gratitude. He’s not only grateful to get to play football. He’s grateful for the equipment he receives. He’s grateful to go to school and not have to pay for it. He’s grateful for the academic support. He’s grateful when someone is nice to him. He seems to be grateful for everything and his amazing story exemplifies the qualities of character, courage, contribution and commitment.