Alabama Athletics

Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett expects to be better in second year as starter

Anthony Averett said biggest lesson he learned in first year was ‘don’t take any plays off’

At the end of last season, Marlon Humphrey had been at Alabama three seasons, one as a redshirt and two as Bama’s starting left cornerback. He elected to forego two years of college eligibility to make himself available for this year’s NFL draft. Meanwhile, Anthony Averett had completed four years at Bama, one as a redshirt, one as a little-used backup, one playing primarily on special teams, and one as a starter.
Anthony Averett elected to return for another year as Alabama’s starting right cornerback.
It’s not as if either made a mistake. The pros love Marlon Humphrey, and Humphrey had a good season for the Tide last year.
It would be hard to choose between the two, though.
Last season, Humphrey was in on 36 tackles (26 primary, 10 assists), Averett on 48 (39 primary, 9 assists). Humphrey had 3 tackles for 6 yards in losses, Averett 3 for 19, including a sack for a 13-yard loss. Humphrey broke up 5 passes, Averett 8. Humphrey caused 1 fumble, Averett 2. Humphrey did have 2 interceptions for 18 yards in returns and Averett did not have an interception.
Early in the season, opposing teams went after the new guy, Averett. But late in the season it was Humphrey who was seeing the most passes.
Now Averett is a veteran in what is an experienced Alabama secondary. In addition to the 6-0, 185-pound senior at right cornerback, he is joined by returning starters Ronnie Harrison and Minkah Fitzpatrick at safeties and newcomer Trevon Diggs, who has moved into the left cornerback spot vacated by Humphrey.
Alabama will have its second scrimmage of spring practice Friday, and Averett and his secondary mates will likely have to be more involved in the run game than they were in last week’s scrimmage, which was primarily a passing workout. And in that scrimmage, it appeared from the few statistics released that quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Tide wide receivers had a big day.
Everett said, “The offense made a lot of plays and let us know what we had to work on.
"I think all three of the quarterbacks that played, they're good at throwing the ball down the field. And it helps us because we want to defend all the deep balls."
Everett said he was not surprised at the success of Alabama’s receiving corps. “We match up with them every day in practice, so it's something that's not really new to us, but I think we matched up really well,” he said.
In Averett’s first game as a starter, Southern Cal completed a big pass over Averett on its first passing play. “I heard a lot about that,” Averett said. But he rebounded from that to have a good game and a good season, including being selected by the Bama coaching staff as one of the players of the game in the Tide’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game win over Florida.
This year, he said, his goal is “just to have a better season than last year, just improve in every aspect — technique, playbook, every aspect of playing corner.
"I feel like I've evolved quite well. It's going to be my second year, I feel more experienced, I'm more comfortable with the play calling and everything. So I feel very well with it."
He said the biggest lesson he learned in his first year was “don’t take any plays off, just keep going hard regardless of what’s going on.”
Everett handled the easiest question, too. Is he still the fastest player on the team?
“Oh, yes sir.”

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