"The most important thing is that I'm in there with Cato," Evans said. "He's going to be our quarterback, so it's best to build a rhythm with him. It's been great, watching film and getting him used to seeing me out there and throwing the ball to me."
Evans also credits new strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair for improved strength that's allowed him to shed tacklers easier.
"It makes things more instinctive," Evans said. "Instead of going out and trying to bully people, it happens. Breaking tackles just happens. You'd never know, but then you see the film and you're like, 'Oh, I broke that tackle, didn't I?' "
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MARSHALL'S OFFENSIVE LINE played a significant part on the offense's meteoric rise up the Football Bowl Subdivision rankings last season, but rising senior lineman Gage Niemeyer said there still was room for improvement during the spring.
That improvement came, he said, thanks to new offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who stressed intensity and nastiness throughout the 15 practices.
"He's just brought that punch that we needed," Niemeyer said. "He's always telling us to finish, be nasty, go down and chase the ball. Last year, the whistle blows and we were like, 'all right.' Now the whistle blows and we're 25 yards down the field chasing someone and putting them in the dirt."
Niemeyer admitted that when Mirabal first arrived, it was a new experience taking instruction from a coach who, standing 5-5, didn't have the usual look of an offensive line coach. It didn't take long, though, to learn that image isn't always everyting.
"As soon as we got out on the field, we knew who was in charge really quick," Niemeyer said. "When somebody knows what he's talking about to the caliber that he does, you don't question it."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.