Jim Evenson - Fullback - 1968-72 - Oregon
Jim Evenson arrived in the Canadian Football League in 1968 out of the University of Oregon. With Willie Fleming having retired at the end of the 1966 season the door was open for a new running back to capture the hearts of Leo fans – enter Evenson.
A bruising fullback with surprising speed, Evenson had great success with the Lions eclipsing the 1,000 yard rushing plateau in each of his first four seasons in the league. He totaled 1,220 yards his rookie season and topped that in 1969 with 1,287. Jim was named a CFL All-Star in 1970 with 8 rushing touchdowns and 1,003 yards on the ground he added 3 receiving touchdowns.
Evenson formed a dynamic backfield duo in 1971 with Josh Ashton as the Lions finished the year with a 6-9-1 record. Evenson was named a CFL All-Star in 1971 as well with 1,237 yards and 8 touchdowns. A crowd favorite who commanded respect from defenders –
Jim Evenson tore up the turf at Empire Stadium for 5 seasons with his powerful runs.
The Hillsboro, Oregon native would go on to join the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1973 and enjoy a Grey Cup championship as Ottawa behind Rick Cassata surprised the Edmonton Eskimos to capture the franchises 2nd championship in 4 years. Evenson had over 900 yards rushing in 1973 in the Nation’s capital.
Evenson would play his final season in Canadian Football with Ottawa in 1974. He finished his career with 7,060 yards rushing in 7 seasons, 37 rushing touchdowns and 6 receiving majors.
Evenson would spend 1 season in the World Football League with the Portland Thunder before retiring from professional football.