Rashaan Evans and his family knew things would be rough living in his hometown of Auburn, Ala., and attending Auburn High for the remainder of the academic year after the five-star linebacker signed with rival Alabama last week.
They just didn't know it would be this rough.
"It's getting worse," Evans said. "Someone actually put out an article about my family's business telling all Auburn fans not to go there. We are going to eventually start losing money. People are telling restaurants in the town not to serve us."
The Evans family owns the Corner Market store in Auburn, and Evans' father, Alan, confirmed that friends had drawn his attention to message board posts calling for a boycott of the store.
"I guess the thing I would ask most of the people writing these hurtful things is, how would you feel if this were your child?" the elder Evans told al.com. "Why do you feel the need to heap all this negativity onto a young man who is just beginning his life? I think if people asked themselves those questions, they might think twice before writing some of these things they've written."
As if it weren't enough to get grief from fans who approach him, Evans is also drawing fire from social media, where angry fans have attacked him with the worst of wishes.
"Social media has definitely been the worst," he said. "People on Instagram are telling me how they hope I tear my ACL in game one. They will laugh when I do. They are saying my family is horrible and how they didn't raise me right. It's just crazy."
Evans (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) was a prized outside linebacker prospect during the recruiting season, and according to his father, Auburn fans felt his son was "a lock" to sign with the hometown Tigers as recently as two weeks before national signing day. The school itself, in fact, was certain enough of his decision that it posted a profile of Evans on its official web site before he even signed.
Evans' signing with the Crimson Tide marks the second consecutive year that Alabama has managed to snatch a five-star linebacker recruit from Auburn High. Last year, Reuben Foster, who had previously committed to Auburn, signed with the Crimson Tide as well. Alabama coach Nick Saban said Foster had a role in recruiting Evans to Alabama, and kiddingly called Saban to take credit for Evans' decision on signing day.
Before Evans gets to Alabama, however, it will be no laughing matter in Auburn.