Just days before the start of the 2011 season, Marshall has been forced to deal with a fairly significant off-field incident involving a player expected to contribute on both offense and special teams.
According to multiple media outlets, wide receiver Troy Evans was arrested shortly after practice Tuesday and charged in connection to a series of on-campus robberies. Evans will officially face four counts of armed robbery and one count of wanton endangerment.
His bail was set at $250,000. He has also been indefinitely suspended by the football program.
The robberies — three in a span of eight minutes according to police — all occurred very early Sunday morning, with three of the four alleged victims being Marshall students.
“The dude comes up out of nowhere,” Zach Warner, a senior at the school, told a local television station in relaying the story of one of his fraternity brothers being one of the alleged robbery victims. “It was one of the darker areas where there’s not much light. The dude comes up, pulls out a handgun, puts the barrel to his head and says ‘Give me your phone and wallet.'”
The Huntington Herald-Dispatch gave the following account of the alleged robberies:
The first incident involved two victims who said they were approached by a man who brandished a handgun and demanded their wallets. They gave up their wallets, and ran away when the man pointed the gun at a third victim who was walking on the sidewalk, according to police reports.
The fourth victim, Dustin Manns, 20, said a man approached him and asked him for a cigarette. Manns said he didn’t smoke and kept walking, but the man followed him and pointed a gun in his face and demanded his wallet.
Manns said he refused, and then was struck in the head with the gun. He said the man tried to flee with Manns in tow as two HPD cruisers came down the street. Manns said the man tried to hide behind some bushes but slipped, causing the gun to go off. Manns said he was able to get away at that point and the suspect fled.
A search warrant was subsequently executed at the 21-year-old’s off-campus apartment, the Charleston Gazette reports, but it’s unclear what was found during the course of the search. Campus police are expected to release additional information at some point Wednesday.
Evans, a native of Oakland, Calif., transferred to Marshall from the JUCO ranks in 2009 but took a medical redshirt after playing in three games. He ended his first full, healthy season with the Herd last year with 21 receptions for 225 yards and three touchdowns. He also added two rushing touchdowns and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score as well.
Evans had been considered the leading contender for the top slot receiver spot, but, as of Tuesday afternoon, he has much bigger things to worry about than his placement on a football depth chart.