RECRUITING: Carlos Everett Ready For Huge Season

Perhaps he has been overshadowed a bit by his older brother. When Earl Everett is your older brother and Coach Urban Meyer is continually singing his praises, calling him one of the best football players he's ever seen, it's easy to get overlooked a bit but that could change this fall. While Earl may have a dream season this year for the Florida Gators, you can expect that younger brother Carlos will be making some noise of his own at South Sumter High School.

Carlos is a silky-smooth, 6-1.5, 179-pound wide receiver with 4.4 speed who will be a high school defensive coordinator's headache this fall, particularly since South Sumter will be running a version of the spread option offense that the Florida Gators will be running. Everett had a fine 2004 season with 27 receptions for 547 yards, better than 20 yards per catch. He added 427 rushing yards on 25 carries. He had 15 touchdowns on receptions and rushing plays.

Those kind of numbers to go with the outstanding speed have college recruiters calling and asking for film on a daily basis. His mailbox is filled up with letters from schools such as Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Indiana, and Auburn. That's a list that will certainly grow, but as Earl has told him, "Be very patient and open minded about everything."

He has a list of priorities for making his college choice. Certainly, football is his ticket to a scholarship, but he's well aware that football won't last forever.

"I am going to base it (choice of schools) on academics," Everett said. "If I am there as a receiver I will base it on the type of offense they run, how the offense will fit me and how I fit into the offense. Then I will look to see how I get along with the coaching staff."

He really only has one institution to base his experiences on. Earl is in his third year as a starting linebacker for Florida. Carlos has visited Gainesville a lot over the last three years, so he's very comfortable at UF.

"It is just a nice environment," he said of the Gainesville campus. "It's just the kind of place where you would want to grow old and live peacefully. It's not a place where people are getting in fights or getting killed. It is just a nice environment and all the people that are around make you feel comfortable."

He's had a chance to meet a lot of the Florida players through Earl, and since he's being recruited by the Gators, he's developing a relationship with the coaching staff.

"They are just like family," he said of the Florida players. "I really like them. I think Urban Meyer is really going to help put Florida back on the map. I like Coach Gonzalez (wide receivers coach) and all the rest of the coaches, too."

Florida's recruiter for the South Sumter area is offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, whom Everett already knows very well.

He's spent the spring running the 100 and 200 meters for the South Sumter track team following a winter in which he started at forward for the Raiders' basketball team. Now, he's got spring football on the agenda. The Raiders start practice Monday and Coach Inman Sherman has the Raiders focused on a district championship in 2005. Spring football will afford college recruiters to see how much Everett has grown during the offseason and how well he adapts his game to the new offense.

While he hasn't been visited by any college recruiters yet, that will change once practice begins. Several schools have already told Everett they will be traveling to Bushnell to watch practice. Everett said, "They are all planning on coming next week to see me."

Everett has seen some action on defense for the Raiders. Chances are he will be asked to see action at least part-time on defense this season. He wants to be a wide receiver at the next level, but if the right school asked him to play on the defensive side of the ball, he wouldn't hesitate.

"If they want me to play anywhere else, I will try my hardest to play anywhere," he said about the possibility of a position change. "It will be an honor just to be able to get to the next level because of my ability. If they see something and want me to play somewhere else, by all means I will give 100 percent to play that position. I am willing to put my trust in the coaches to put me on the field at the right position."

It's that kind of attitude that attracts the college coaches. They are well aware that Everett is a solid citizen both on and off the field.

"I think that I am pretty laid back and reserved," Everett said. "I can adapt pretty well and I try and have strategies for everything that I do. Off the field, there are a lot of people that would rather do this and do that. I don't like to get out there and get in trouble. I am just an off to the side kind of person. I am always looking at my future and stay out of trouble and away form the bad things in life."

On the field, he wants to be known as a team leader. He's vocal with his teammates, but he believes that the best example is his action on the field.

"I try and be the best leader and lead my guys into a winning season," he said. "I have good speed and hands. I am aggressive and I try to be physical too. If they try and get me at the line, I come out and get them instead. I try to be physical, use my speed and my catching ability."

In the summer he has only one camp on his schedule at the moment. He'll be at Florida June 5-8 and that might be the only place where he camps.

Carlos Everett has a lot of physical ability, but he's humble and he seems to have a good idea that he's got to balance the academics and the football. He's likely to emerge as a hot recruiting commodity in the fall, a wide receiver who has shown gamebreaking ability. The Gators are hoping to sign a few wide receivers in 2006. Carlos Everett could be a top target for the Gators' 2006 recruiting class.

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