October 30, 2013 9:54:00 PM
Matthew Stevens - firstname.lastname@example.org
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State sophomore defensive tackle Quay Evans was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a traffic stop by university police.
According to officials from the Oktibbeha County jail, Evans, 21, was charged with driving without a license and a violation of a traffic control device. He has since been released from jail.
The news was first reported by The Starkville Daily News.
Public records in the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's office found by The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog revealed Evans was cited for driving without a license and a seat belt violation this past summer. Evans was charged and fined a total of $426 on Aug. 8.
Evans was suspended for Thursday night's game against Kentucky for what the program called a violation of team rules.MSU head coach Dan Mullen confirmed after the 28-22 victory over Kentucky Saturday night the former five-star recruit would be reevaluated in the following weeks. However, Mullen did not state definitely if Evans would be in the lineup MSU (4-3, 1-2 in Southeastern Conference) travels to No. 14 South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 in SEC) for a 11:21 a.m., contest. The Bulldogs fifth-year coach would only comment on Evans' situation by saying the issue was being "handled internally".
Evans has just three total tackles this season, one of which for a loss, and no sacks.
Evans was rated the top prospect in the state of Mississippi among all positions in the 2012 recruiting class by various recruiting services. The talent of the 310-pounder from Morton was able to pass through the normal system of red-shirting first-year players integrated by Mullen and the coaching staff.
Evans was not on the trip as a coaches' decision for the 2013 season-opening game vs. Oklahoma State in Houston.
"Quay had a really great week of practice last week and I met with him last week about it," Mullen said Sept. 2. "He's on the right path but the key is for him to stay on the right path to see him on the field. We want to see him playing on the field and playing to the expectations levels that we have for him."
Evans chose MSU over Auburn, Southern California, Florida State, Louisiana State, Alabama and Ole Miss.
While he saw action in 10 games and recorded seven tackles, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery, he was not productive throughout the year after tallying three tackles, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry against Jackson State University in his college debut. After his first game in 2013, Evans was seen as more of a situational player due to the depth in the Bulldogs defensive line.
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw returns to practice: South Carolina starting quarterback Connor Shaw returned to practice on Wednesday after battling a severe illness and injury.
Shaw had missed practice this week due to the same virus that sidelined him, along with a knee injury at the beginning of last Saturday's win at Missouri.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Shaw missed Monday's practice and was unlikely to work out Tuesday as he recovers from the virus. He is listed as questionable for Saturday's game against MSU but Bulldogs defensive coordinator said Tuesday he expects Shaw to play.
"He's had sort of a little flu bug," Spurrier said in his media teleconference Sunday. "Maybe a stomach virus. He didn't go to the movie with the team Friday night and didn't come to the breakfast. He actually didn't go to the stadium (with us on an early-morning visit). He stayed back, I think he ate a little bit of his pre-game meal, and he felt pretty good."
South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said Shaw took more reps with the first team than he expected.
Shaw also was coming off a sprained knee when he entered the game against the Tigers in the third quarter and rallied the Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 in SEC) from a 17-point deficit to a 27-24 double-overtime victory.
"Last week it was completely evident the type of player he is watching that game and what he means to that team," Mullen said Monday. "Now, sometimes they don't make him put up huge numbers, they don't need to. As any great quarterback I think he manages the game extremely well. People use that in a negative term, I use that as he does what he needs to do for his team to win the game. That to me is a manager and a winner at the quarterback position, and he does that very,very well."
Shaw threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, earning the SEC's offensive player of the week honors. Spurrier says backup Dylan Thompson would start against MSU (4-3, 1-2) if Shaw can't play.
MSU football has hardest remaining schedule in the country: According to FootballOutsiders.com, Mississippi State has the hardest remaining schedule in the nation with the next three weeks including ranked teams South Carolina, Alabama and Texas A&M.
The only opponent MSU faced in the first seven games that currently has a losing record is last Thursday's 28-22 victory over Kentucky, which stands at 1-6.
"Our first seven opponents are 38-18 right now," Mullen said in his SEC coaches' teleconference Wednesday. "A bunch of them are ranked and in the top 10 too. I don't know if this is any different from the rest of the season. I think there's a sense of urgency every single game we play here."
According to the website's mathematical formula, the following four teams follow MSU with the nation's hardest remaining schedules: Oregon State, Oregon, LSU and Miami (Fla.).
MSU started last season 7-0 against a perceived weaker schedule before facing a gauntlet of SEC Western Division opponents. The Bulldogs have gone 5-8 in its last 13 games since that period in 2012.
"I don't know if this is any different than where we've been over the first half of the season, but I know our guys love that challenge of playing the best teams," Mullen said.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.