By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – For the past couple of days, everyone across the Rio Grande Valley and the entire state has had one name on their minds and it’s Harvey due to the threat of a major Hurricane in South Texas.
But in the city of Donna, there was one name on Thursday night that was the brunt of the conversation and it was Norman “Norm” Evans.
The “Hometown Hero” was honored for his storied football career as his life-sized bronze sculpture was unveiled to the public during a special ceremony in front of Bennie LaPrade Stadium.
Evans was overwhelmed with emotion at first glimpse of his new statue that resembled him suited in Miami Dolphins attire.
“I’m speechless and this is so overwhelming. Actually I have goose bumps and have chills coming up and down my spine” said Evans. “Thank you is the most important thing I can say about this statue.”
“I am so thankful for Donna and I got so many starts at Donna Independent School District. This is where I got my start in sports and also learned the value of education which was the key. Plus there are so many others that I owe a debt of gratitude to and all I can’t say thank you.”
Evans was a 1961 graduate of Donna High and played football under legendary coaches Bennie La Prade and Earl Scott. Evans went on to play college football at Texas Christian University in 1961 and was drafted in the 14th round of the 1966 AFL expansion draft by the Houston Oilers.
Then in 1966, Evans was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the expansion draft and spent 10 seasons with them. Evans played offensive tackle for the Dolphins and was a Two-Time Pro Bowler and played in three Super Bowls while winning two of them.
Evans completed his career at Seattle with the Seahawks as he played from 1976 to 1978.
Evans was the only player in NFL history to be chosen in two supplemental drafts and played for a total of 14 seasons.
Ramiro Leal, head football coach for Donna High School, said he was glad to see Evans get recognized for his stellar career.
“This is a big day in Donna,” said Leal. “Today has been long overdue and I have been here long enough to know that Norm Evans is one of the elite players to come through here and his accolades are very impressive.”
“It’s time Mr. Evans has been recognized this way and I am honored to be a part of it.”