One-on-one with Iowa football defensive end Joe Evans

Daily Iowan Football Reporter Isaac Goffin chatted with Evans at a media availability session on Nov. 15.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Purdue running back Dylan Downing (38) carries the ball as Iowa defensive end Joe Evans (13) tackles him during a football game between Iowa and Purdue at Ross–Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 24-3.

Isaac Goffin, Football Reporter

The Daily Iowan: You’re a born-and-raised Iowan. What does that mean to you?

Joe Evans: I love this state, to be honest with you. I think this is the greatest state in the country. Great place to grow, raise a family. Love the four seasons. Just a great state, all in all.

DI: What’s your favorite season?

Evans: Definitely fall. Football season. Absolutely.

DI: Looks like today’s kind of the start of winter. What does winter mean to you?

Evans: I think that brings a lot of excitement, especially back home. You start Christmas, Thanksgiving, it kind of gets a little exciting. Definitely was fun, like when we were walking out to practice, garage door up, snow coming down. It’s like you’re a kid playing in the backyard again. So, that was kind of fun today.

DI: What do you like to do around the state?

Evans: I’m kind of a homebody, to be honest with you. So, I guess let’s say back in Ames, I would just really either stay at home, hang out with my family. I mean, we’d watch football all the time and just go hang out with friends, go out to eat, just little things like that.

DI: Did you do anything memorable in the Des Moines area or elsewhere in Iowa when you were growing up?

Evans: So, I moved to Ames going into my fifth-grade year. So, I used to live in Des Moines. But whenever I would travel down to Des Moines when I was a kid, I used to have some Adventureland season passes. I’ll tell you what, that was electric. That was always a fun time. We’d go down there about every weekend. Me and my mom, my sister, just live it up, have the time of our lives. But I do that, my grandparents live in Des Moines, so go see them a lot. Hit up Jordan Creek every once in a while, obviously. But other than that, just kind of stay at home and hang out with some friends.

DI: What are your favorite rides at Adventureland?

Evans: That’s a great question. Big fan of The Tornado. When I was a kid, that was my go-to. I remember me and my mom, we waited in the line for three hours one time just to go on The Tornado. Bless her heart, she’s been on that ride about 10 times. That was my first time. I was so excited. When the log ride was there, that was exciting. Then, when they put the waterpark in, that was one of my favorite parks there when I was a kid.

DI: Do you travel outside the state often or do you just stay here?

Evans: Just kind of stay in Iowa, to be honest with you. I don’t really travel unless I’m playing a game. That’s really it. I’m really in Iowa most of the time.

DI: I know you said you don’t travel much. What’s been your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?

Evans: Probably Tampa. Me and my dad, we took a little trip there about a year ago. We actually took a trip, just me and him, hung out. I did a little food challenge when I was down there, which was exciting. So, the place was Cookie Munchers, and I was telling my dad this challenge was cake, right? This is like one of the easiest food challenges ever. Turns out, it wasn’t. Ended up winning the thing, so very competitive. Won the thing, so that’s probably been my favorite spot so far.

DI: What were the requirements of the challenge?

Evans: I had to eat like 10 cookies in 20 minutes — so tough. Drink a pint of milk with it. That was tough. But ended up doing it in about 19 minutes. My dad was there encouraging me, so it was a fun night.

DI: Did you go to Busch Gardens in Tampa or the beach?

Evans: I did when we were at the Outback [Bowl], but not on that trip with my dad. I went to the beach though. Me and my dad hung out at the beach most of the time, just sit down and relax, look at the ocean. 

DI: Any other spots around this country you’ve been to that you’ve liked?

Evans: I’ve been to California. That was fun. California, Florida, that was probably about it. I’ve been to places around the Midwest, but Iowa’s definitely my favorite.

DI: Do you have any other favorite sports besides football?

Evans: I loved basketball in high school. Always loved that. I had a phenomenal coach. His name’s coach [Vance] Downs, who really just helped me become a better man. So, all credit to him to. But anytime I got to play basketball, I was always having a great time. So, I would say basketball and football in high school were like 50-50.

DI: What was your position?

Evans: Like a stretch forward, get to shoot a little bit, maybe.

DI: What were your biggest attributes on the court?

Evans: I was actually pretty decent in the post. Then, I really would actually spot up and shoot the three. But decent on defense, just a gritty player.

DI: Do you watch the men’s or women’s teams here?

Evans: I do whenever I can. When our season’s over, I’ll go over and catch a couple games. They’re looking really good this year, and I’m really excited about that just for the university. It’s always great to have great sports teams at the university, and I’m excited to see what they can do in March.

DI: Do you follow the NBA?

Evans: I’m a big LeBron fan. Love Lebron James. So, I think he’s the GOAT. I get a lot of people talking to me about that. I’ve always been a Lebron fan since I was a kid. So, I’ll just follow him. So, I was a Cleveland fan for a while, Heat, back to the Cavs, and the Lakers.

DI: Have you seen him in person yet?

Evans: No, I haven’t. I have not seen Lebron in person, but hopefully someday I will get to meet him. That’d be pretty cool. Definitely No. 1 person on my list to meet, so maybe one day.

DI: What do you like about him?

Evans: That’s a great question, actually. I mean, obviously everything on the basketball court, but I think he does so many great things off the court. How he started the I Promise School, just all that. I just followed his career ever since I was a kid. I mean, my brother was always a huge LeBron fan, so I just grew up into that.

DI: Have you actually been to an NBA game in person yet?

Evans: I went to one. I went to Bucks-Magic when we were at the Citrus Bowl. So, that was a fun one to go to.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.