MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- Like many Marines, he wakes every morning and puts on his uniform. Only his uniform is different. It's wrinkled, stained and his footwear is scuffed from lack of polish. Many might think this 6-foot-5 inch 260-pound giant is out of regulations, but then again many might not know that Lance Cpl. Billy R. Evers, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-13, avionics technician, is a college football player.
Evers (a.k.a. 'Big Country') is a native of Douglas, Ga., and conducts field combat on a daily basis at Arizona Western College where he is a defensive end for the AWC Matadors and a full time student.
According to Keith Munson, AWC, defensive coordinator, being a Marine, a full-time student and playing college football is commendable.
"We tell our football players that they're not like typical college students because they have to balance school and football at the same time," said Munson. "With (Evers) being a Marine, that's even more duties for him. It triples him up."
"He is a great guy and has great discipline," said Munson. "He told me he would have to be five minutes late for our meetings that start at 7:15 every morning, and so far he hasn't been over that."
According to Munson, Evers will be receiving the 'Iron Man' award for not missing any practice during football camp.
"He is a hustler, and we're very happy to have him on the team," said Munson. "He does things right all of the time."
"We hope that most of our players can see the example that he sets, because he has set one hell of one," added Munson.
"A lot of people would expect me to be tired, but I'm not," said Evers. "Even though I'm busier now than I've ever been, playing football and going to school brings my stress level down."
"I relieve a lot of my stress on the field, and that makes everyone around the shop enjoy me a little more," said Evers jokingly.
Evers said balancing the Marine Corps, school and football wasn't necessarily easy or hard, but that it was definitely busy.
"I never have any extra time," said Evers.
"I only have about an hour between football practice and classes to get a shower and grab something to eat," said Evers. "After class is over, I then have about an hour to get to work."
Evers, who has played football every year from age eight until the time he joined the corps, said a person has to have a lot of discipline to do what he does.
"I have the will to work hard and not give up," said Evers. "The Marine Corps taught me discipline. I listen to what has been said, and don't talk back to the coaches. I feel that earns me a lot of respect with them."
"The Marine Corps has also taught me to deal with adversity, and that really helps on the field."
According to Evers, all of his friends and coworkers are supportive of what he does.
"My friends know it's tough, but they know it's what I want to do, said Evers. "At work they try not to ask more than what is expected, and as long as I'm doing my job everything's OK."
Evers said people have hobbies and football is his. He added he would like to follow through with it as far as it would take him.
"I would like to carry it on," said Evers. "I don't have any certain place I want to play, whether it be division one, two or higher, but I want to carry it on to the highest level I can."
Evers said his short term goals were to stay healthy and keep his grades up while staying intact with good military discipline.
According to Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Perkins, MALS-13, production controller and former non-commissioned officer-in-charge of Evers, for a young Marine Evers is a strong leader.
"He should be promoted soon," said Perkins. "He is a go-getter that knows how to take charge of a situation."
"When the shop goes to (Physical Training) and plays football or basketball, he dominates especially in football," said Perkins.
"When we worked together on night crew we would get breaks for chow and PT, and Evers would spend the two hours working out," said Perkins.
Perkins added that Evers always gets a 'first-class' on his Personal Fitness Test.
"He is a great Marine and a great guy," said Perkins. "I definitely plan to see his next home game."
"Hopefully, he'll get some scouts to look at him, and who knows where he'll go from there," said Perkins.
"If the team keeps playing like we have been, we'll have a shot at the national title," said Evers. "We're already ranked in the top ten for the (National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association)."
According to Evers, he is just happy to be a part of it all.
Evers said that he is appreciative of his NCOIC, Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Carver for working with him and his schedule and the support that Carver offers. Evers also added he is also thankful to Sgt. Matt Land, who has helped shape him mentally and physically into what he is today.