Everett Looking For 'Picks and Sticks'

Tyler Everett is making the move from safety to cornerback this season. He is one of the few question marks on Ohio State's defense, but feels as though it will be a smooth transition. We caught up with Everett for his thoughts on the position change, the new motto of OSU's secondary, the Buckeyes' chances of making a national title run and more.

He's taking on a new challenge this season, but senior Tyler Everett believes he's more than ready for it.

Everett will line up as Ohio State's starting boundary cornerback, replacing Dustin Fox who manned the position for three years.

"It feels good," Everett said of the move to corner. "It's a little different since I've played mostly safety here, but it's the same situation I was in in high school. Played safety the first three years, then senior year he moved me to corner. So, it feels exactly the same."

Everett started seven games at safety in 2004 and finished the season with 39 tackles and one interception. He also played a lot as a sophomore in 2003 and as a true freshman in 2002 on the national championship team.

Even being a first-year starter at corner, he brings a lot of experience to the table.

"I think from me moving from safety to corner, I know the defenses well because the safety pretty much dictates what the corner does," Everett said. "So, I'm pretty much able to – when I see something – jump into it instead of waiting on the safety to tell me what to do. I've been around the block and I know this game pretty well.

"And you don't have too many corners that hit like safeties. So, I bring that aspect to the corner position as well."

The 5-11, 205-pound Everett put in a lot of long hours working on his craft during the summer.

"I've just worked hard in the offseason in the weight room and I've got faster and I put on more weight and muscle," he said. "So, when you do those things – when you can add weight and get faster – hopefully the coaches are excited about that. I feel good. I'll probably lose about five pounds before the season and feel even faster."

Everett is not a burner, but he's plenty fast enough to stick with some of the nation's best receivers.

"We haven't run it recently, but I think I'm still a 4.4 guy," he said of his 40 time.

Everett says he really doesn't have a preference between corner and safety.

"As long as I'm on the field, it doesn't matter to me," he said. "If ask me to play linebacker, I'll play linebacker. So, it really doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm on the field, I'm happy."

Last year, Everett made one of the biggest plays of OSU's season when he returned an interception against Penn State for a 24-yard touchdown.

"I wouldn't say that was the best play of my career," he said. "I think the pick against Washington State when I was a freshman was the best play of my career so far, because we pretty much stopped them from getting the momentum of the game. The Penn State play was early in the game. But as far as the way it happened, yeah, that would be one of the best plays of my career. But I just looked at it as getting my job done."

Everett can't say enough nice things about OSU's other starting corner – junior Ashton Youboty.

"Ashton is everything you want in a corner," Everett said. "He can cover, he's physical. He's not a little guy. He's 6-1, 190. So, he's your perfect corner."

Everett admits the NFL is on his mind a little bit. At this time next year, he hopes to be in a professional camp.

"Since this is my last year of eligibility, you're going to think about it," he said. "But I try not to think about it as much and try and get through this season and win a national championship."

Everett says he and his teammates are making it no secret that a national title is what they are shooting for.

"We talk about it every day," he said. "Every time we break it down in a cheer, it's national champs, Big Ten champs. That's the team goal overall for this year. I'm looking forward to the first game against Miami and then take it week-by-week."

Playing corner comes with the pressure of being out on an island alone with a receiver. But Everett doesn't exactly view it that way.

"Yeah, I look at is as a challenge, not so much pressure, because I'm out here to play football and if I feel like I'm pressured doing that then I shouldn't be out here," he said. "I just look at is as a challenge being out on that island, just you and that other guy. It's about who wins that battle."

Everett says OSU's defense will be an aggressive unit this season. He expects a lot of blitzing, which means the defensive backs need to play well to avoid big plays.

"This year, we have the mindset of going after people," Everett said. "If we can send six people at a time and the defensive line gets their job done and the linebackers get their job done and we cover, then I feel going after people will be a good thing for us. I think we have people out there that can handle it. The ball is going to come out quick if we pressure people. If we do our job in the secondary, then that will help everyone else do their jobs."

And playing the boundary corner position means that Everett will be asked to help out in run support quite often. He might not be Antonie Winfield, but he can get the job done against the run.

"It's the short side of the field and they like to run to the boundary a lot and you have to come up and stop it," Everett said. "Our first goal as a defense is to stop the run and make them pass. Make them one-dimensional. And as a boundary corner, you're rolled up a lot, so when the run comes, stopping the run is a big part of this defense."

Everett is a big corner and he says that is an advantage for him. He thinks he will be able to manhandle most receivers that he faces.

"Yeah, not too many other schools have receivers the size of Roy Hall," Everett said. "And going against Roy Hall in practice at 235 pounds, so who is going to win that battle? But being a bigger corner like me, my mindset is domination. Not letting the receivers get off the line."

The Buckeyes should have a hard-hitting secondary this season. Safeties Nate Salley, Donte Whitner and Brandon Mitchell are all big hitters. And the cornerbacks can lay the wood as well.

"Oh yeah, we go into practice every day and our motto as a secondary is: ‘picks and sticks.' So, we want to get interceptions and we want to make big hits and make plays," Everett said. "We want those picks and sticks."

Everett was asked if OSU's defense is good enough to carry the team, as it was in 2002.

"Oh yeah, I wouldn't want to say carry the team because our offense is good enough to carry us too, but if we don't let them score then our offense can score seven points and we'll win the game," he said. "So, as far as us shutting down the opposing team and our offense doing what they are supposed to do, both sides are real important in winning a championship.

"And one thing that Coach Tressel stresses is the importance of special teams. Because special teams, that's like adding on to what you can do in that game."

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