ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — With his college destination determined, the leading pass-catcher in Western New York has rerouted his focus toward extending his high school career in the Section VI playoffs.

Dylan Evans, a 6-foot-3 senior at Orchard Park, announced his commitment to play football for University of New Hampshire while the Quakers had an idle weekend awaiting this Friday night’s Class AA semifinal against visiting Bennett.

“They’ve been recruiting me since the start of my junior year,” said Evans, noting his bond with New Hampshire assistant Garrett McLaughlin, a 2008 Orchard Park graduate who won two sectional championships with the Quakers.

Evans chose the FCS Colonial Athletic Association program over Ivy League schools Brown and Cornell.

“Cornell and Brown would’ve been great educations,” Evans said. “But I really liked the coaching staff at New Hampshire. And visiting the campus was awesome.”

Evans intends to major in computer science at New Hampshire. His father, Dan, a Cleveland-Hill graduate who played safety at Kansas State for one season before transferring home to Buffalo State, is vice president of information technology for the Buffalo Bills.

“The sky is the limit for Dylan, and I can’t wait to see him develop in a college program,” Orchard Park coach Mike Cieslik said. “He has set a great precedent for our up-and-coming players about what’s important, academically and athletically, to being a really good high school player. He is the definition of humble and hungry.”

In his third season on Quakers varsity, and second as team captain, Evans has 58 receptions for 916 yards and 12 touchdowns through eight games. He led Section VI in catches and yards receiving entering the postseason. As a junior, he caught 54 passes for 830 yards and a WNY-leading 17 touchdowns. With 139 receptions, 2,097 yards and 36 TDs in his career, Evans holds Orchard Park records in all three categories.

After coaches told Evans he needed to become more than just a deep threat in order to raise his recruiting profile, Evans worked to refine his route running during offseason sessions with Alejandro Overton, a Buff State assistant who operates Wide Receiver City Training.

“Dylan has worked on his game every week of every season,” Cieslik said. “He’s been committed to becoming a great receiver and doing whatever he can to help the Quakers win.”

Orchard Park opens the sectional playoffs against a Bennett team that ended its season in last year’s AA semifinal. Bennett also beat Orchard Park 52-10 earlier this season, but the Quakers were later award the win by forfeit, providing them home-field advantage for the playoff rematch.

“I really like our matchup,” Evans said. “We had a tough outing against them before. We got smacked in the mouth. We weren’t ready for that. But the past couple weeks, our coaches have been making sure we don’t make the same mistakes. We’ll have to play a perfect game to beat them, but I think we can do it.”

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Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.