"I had over a 1,000 yards of offense and 10 touchdowns this season," Engram
said of on his senior season. "It came to a disappointing end in the
playoffs Friday. We lost to Camden County and just played a terrible game but
that's life. Now it's time for me to work hard this off-season and get ready
for the SEC."
Scout.com's No. 22 nationally-rated tight end will always hold fond memories of his senior season.
"It started out slow. We lost our first two out of three games but we responded
to adversity and made the playoffs despite our slow start."
Engram has always put up numbers in high school, but this season topped them all.
"I had 40 catches for 975 yards and 10 touchdowns, and I threw a 75-yard pass
for a touchdown against McEachern. My past two games were pretty good. I closed strong.
I had five catches for 101 yards and one touchdown against McEachern and four catches for 185
yards and two touchdowns against Camden County in the playoffs. I think I played pretty
well. I gained a big-play reputation earlier in my career, but I think I took
it to the next level this year. I made a lot of big explosion plays. I broke a
lot of tackles. I had six catches of over 70-80 yards. I feel like I can really stretch
the field for a tight end."
Engram added around 15 pounds of muscle from his junior to senior season and
that helped him take the next step.
"I just got bigger and stronger this off-season. I made a lot of big plays
because I was breaking tackles. My speed has improved too. I'm down in the low
4.5s right now. I want to report to Ole Miss at 225 and get my speed down in
the 4.4s. Those are my two biggest goals this off-season."
There are other areas he wants to concentrate on before he reports to Ole Miss
"I want to get my hands better. If I can get them stronger I can be more
of a straight-handed catcher. It helps you hold on to the catches while I get
hit. I know in the SEC I'm going to be getting popped a lot as soon as I catch the
ball, and I want to get my hands stronger so I can keep a hold of the ball, and I want to work on my routes and my angles so I can get in and out of my cuts
and create separation on the defensive backs and linebackers as well."
The physical aspect of playing tight end isn't lost on Engram, either.
"I want to come in and become more of a blocker. I know I'll need to take
on the linemen and they're not small in the SEC. But they're also going to move
me out wide and get me down the field. I'll be more like a H-Back, all-around
guy. I'm not going in there as a traditional tight end, so to speak."
The Hillgrove standout has been to three Ole Miss football games and has watched
the rest on television. He gives us his observations on the Ole Miss passing game.
"I'm really impressed and excited about what I'm seeing. A couple of the
games they could have even done better and won the game. They should have a couple
more wins on their record. They're running the same system we run here at Hillgrove.
I'm really familiar with their offensive system. They like to create one-on-one
matchups for their offensive skilled players. They get you out in open spaces
and expect you to beat your man. I love that type of offense, and that's a big
part of why I chose Ole Miss. I love their coaches and fans. They make you
feel at home."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Powder Springs, Ga., product Evan Engram isn't your typical tight end. He showed as much in his senior season.