Everett Happy To Get Back On Football Field

Ohio State cornerback Tyler Everett did not let a minor neck injury stop him from playing in his final two home games with the Buckeyes. Everett talks about the injury he suffered in OSU's win against Michigan State and how he came back from that.

The Ohio State defense got a big lift recently as senior cornerback Tyler Everett returned to the lineup.

Everett, a senior from Canton McKinley, had missed two games after suffering a neck injury against Michigan State on Oct. 15. He returned and started at nickel back for OSU's home games with Illinois and Northwestern.

This past week, he came up big with four tackles and a pair of early pass break-ups as OSU dispatched Northwestern 48-7.

Everett considered himself lucky just to be back playing. The veteran of 47 games and 14 starts thought he was down for the count when he was lying motionless after making a tackle against MSU's Javon Ringer in the second quarter of that game with the Spartans. On the play, Everett ended up having helmet-to-helmet contact with teammate Marcus Green.

"It was a neck injury," Everett said. "I had consciousness the whole time. I couldn't move and I was scared. I felt like I would never be able to play football another day. I got up and walked off the field. They took me to the emergency room to test me.

"It was temporary (paralysis) for just a couple of minutes."

Everett got checked out at OSU Medical Center, then made it back to Ohio Stadium in time to see his teammates leaving the locker room after that come-from-behind 35-24 win.

"Guys were like, ‘You scared me,' " Everett said. "I said, ‘I scared myself.' That is a scary thing to not be able to move. You're just laying there and can't do anything about it."

Everett missed the Indiana and Minnesota games as a precaution as doctors decided to go slow with the neck injury.

"I had some stiffness for a while, but I kept working and getting treatments," Everett said. "I told the coach, ‘No matter what is going on, I have to play the Northwestern game. It's my last game in the ‘Shoe. If I have to go out there and put on a neck brace, I'm going out there.' "

Sure enough, Everett was able to answer the bell for his final two home games. And it was a good thing because freshman corner Malcolm Jenkins, who had subbed for Everett, suffered a minor injury and only played sparingly against Northwestern.

"That was huge," free safety Nate Salley said of Everett's return. "He's a vet who's been through a lot here. It was great for him to be back for senior day. I know he didn't want to miss that. He played very well and it felt good having him out there. He knows the system and can play safety or corner. I was very happy to see that and see how well he played."

Speaking last week, cornerbacks coach Tim Beckman said the Buckeyes now have the luxury of going with three starting corners – Jenkins and Ashton Youboty at corner and Everett in his natural nickel back slot.

"We've got three," Beckman said. "Earlier in the year, we were playing a lot of nickel. We moved Tyler to nickel and he was secure because he'd been playing there for three years. He made that sacrifice to move to corner to try and make us a better defense. Malcolm has blossomed and that allowed us to move Tyler back where he's comfortable."

Everett said he wasn't afraid to put his body on the line again after the injury.

"People come back from injuries and they're timid from it," he said. "That's how you get hurt again. You can't change your game because you were injured.

"There was a lot of emotion involved and I wanted to make it my best."

Now as OSU prepares to visit Michigan for its regular season finale, Everett said he can't believe his time at Ohio State has nearly passed.

"It seemed like just yesterday we were walking in for freshman camp and this has been a growth period for everybody," he said. "Everybody feels like they have grown from boys to men and that's big when you can do that, not only on the football field but in life.

"It seemed so far away then. When the fans were chanting, ‘Four more years' at the end of the game, I'll tell you, I wish I had four more years to play here. You don't want it to end. But that's life. Everyone goes through the cycle and moves on. I hope I'm moving on to bigger and better things."

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