DECATUR — It was Tor'Jon Evans' turn to talk, but instead, his twin brother Tre'Jon appeared.

"J doesn't do much talking — he's the quiet type," said Eisenhower assistant coach and Tor'Jon's dad Johnell Evans, of Tor'Jon. "Tre'Jon is more of the talker."

Johnell, also Eisenhower's girls basketball coach, moved with his twin sons, plus his sophomore son Tory, to Decatur this summer. Tor'Jon is the most known commodity — he rushed for 2,610 yards as a sophomore last season with 32 touchdowns at Evansville (Ind.) Central following a freshman year in which he rushed for 1,640 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Eisenhower first-year coach Curtis Graham is hoping Tor'Jon can put up numbers similar to that for the Panthers.

"He's fast," Graham said of Tor'Jon. "He's also learned the system quick. And he's tough. It's the same for his brothers."

Graham and the other Eisenhower players have seen Tor'Jon in practice, but both Tre'Jon and Johnell said seeing him in a game is a different experience.

"He's amazing," Tre'Jon said. "The way he can run that ball ... not many people can do it like he can."

"He has a quick first step, and when he gets to the second level it's hard to catch him," Johnell said. "He has good vision. He's on the small side and he doesn't like to practice, but he's a gamer. He's a great back."

Tor'Jon and Tre'Jon bring both experience and proven talent — something the rest of the Eisenhower team doesn't offer.

"This is a really young team, so they're going to have to step up as leaders," Johnell said of his sons.

Tor'Jon will carry the load in the backfield, but will have help from Tory, who will also play slot receiver. Tory and Tre'Jon will catch passes from new Eisenhower quarterback Jordan Dennis.

"We're going to come in and make an impact," Tre'Jon said. "We're going to turn this whole program around."

While Tor'Jon has put up big numbers and Tre'Jon has varsity experience, this will be a much different experience than at Evansville Central. In addition to leadership, and all three Evans brothers will be counted on to play defense, too.

Dennis said he doesn't see that being a problem.

"Football comes natural to those guys," Dennis said. "They're strong and fast, and they're going to go out there and do their thing."

The challenge for Graham will be finding running room for Tor'Jon behind an inexperienced offensive line. The one experienced lineman the Panthers have, senior Zeke Williams, is injured. Graham said the line will be made up mostly of "sophomores and guys in their first year," and they'll have to play both ways.

"That's going to be the challenge — putting things together schematically," Graham said. "We should be fine. We have some weapons who can get the job done."

Graham said the Panthers returning from last season have welcomed him and the Evans brothers with open arms. Dennis said it was nice to have some enthusiasm injected into the program after last year's 1-8 season that had followed back-to-back seven-win seasons.

"We have new faces everywhere — it's exciting," Dennis said. "Everyone is connecting well and we're starting to look like a team."

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Contact Justin Conn at (217) 421-7971. Follow him on Twitter: @jconnHR


Sports Editor

Sports editor for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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