Johnson and Everett vying for roles

Both Jordan Johnson and DeQuan Everett are players that would be fast-tracked to contributing roles in past years, if not starting roles. Due to the unusual amount of depth at cornerback, however, they're both battling to earn spots this spring. Both are currently getting quality reps with the second-team defense, but it's not where either of them want to be when it's all said and done.

"I want to start, everyone wants to start," expressed redshirt freshman Jordan Johnson, who is currently playing field corner with the twos on defense. "All of us are going hard and competing hard, which is good, and we're all good friends, but yeah, we all want to play as much as possible."

Johnson is nipping at the heels of Robbie Buckner, who is currently playing with the ones. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall termed them as being "neck and neck" in their competition currently.

Johnson has found a big benefit from being able to concentrate on just one position for the first time. In high school he did it all for his Brooks School team, playing as many as five different positions during a given game.

"It's very nice being able to focus on one position for sure," he said. "I'm so much more confident this spring than I was in the fall, it's not even close, and I'm getting more and more confident every day that I'm out there."

Johnson is blessed with a lot of natural athleticism, but it's hard to employ that athleticism if one doesn't know where they're supposed to go and what technique to use.

"Everything is coming faster, which helps me play faster," he said. "I know the calls, I'm still learning of course, but I know them much better than I did last year. Hopefully I just continue to progress and go from there to help out the team this coming year."

A sort of unique aspect that Johnson brings to the field is a nasty disposition.

"I love to hit, that's what football is all about," he said. "I'm not getting to do that a lot now in spring, but I definitely like to get physical and I feel that I've always been someone who doesn't shy away from contact. I like the physical part of the game for sure."

DeQuan Everett

Physicality is exactly what DeQuan Everett brings to the boundary corner position opposite Johnson. He measures in at 6 feet 3 inches and 200 pounds, and uses that size to his advantage.

"The boundary position is perfect for me," he said. "You have to real physical, which isn't a problem for me, but you also have to make a lot of reads, which I'm getting better at with every practice I think. You usually play from a technique close to the line of scrimmage, which I love. It's how I love to play. I‘m a big dude, so playing like that plays to my strength."

The most important thing for Everett is his conditioning, as it will allow him to play at his best more consistently.

"Conditioning is something I struggled with a quite a bit when I first got here, and not being properly conditioned didn't allow me to compete like I wanted to," he said. "I need to play through it even when I'm fatigued. I feel that when I'm fatigued or get down because I'm fatigued that I don't play well, so I just need to make sure my conditioning is where it needs to be."

Johnson and Everett are looking to help replace Brian Logan and Brandon Bradley, respectively, which isn't an easy task. They're competing with such players as Robbie Buckner and Preston Hadley so far this spring, while Corby Eason is expected to take one of the starting spots when he begins to practice again this fall.

While fans and media are looking to sort out the two-deep this spring, or at least get a better sense of who will be filling the starting spots this fall, coaches aren't necessarily following suit.

"We'll figure out our two-deep along the way, but our number-one goal is to create the defensive culture that we want," said defensive back coach Nick Howell. "We want to play harder than any BYU defense has ever played, and that's a huge goal and one that is going to take time to get there."

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