NORMAN, Okla. — Former OU Co-Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops said repeatedly that safety Brandon Everage (Book) was the pulse of the Sooner football team. Coach Stoops said that it was Everage who always set the tone for the Sooner defense. and if he played well then the OU defense played well and if he played great then the OU defense played great.
However, Everage was his own worst enemy at OU getting into off-the-field problems and always seemingly being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everage was also never healthy at OU always battling shoulder problems, even at the very end of his senior season.
Everage went into his senior year regarded as one of the top safety prospects in the country, and according to many NFL experts a possible first round draft pick. He came out of his senior year regarded as the third best safety on his own team and once again in need of shoulder surgery. With Saturday's NFL draft quickly approaching, Everage talked to OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: How healthy are you right now?
BE: "I feel like I am about 85 percent right now. I am still rehabbing my shoulder and only time will tell."
JH: What exactly did you have done this time to your shoulder?
BE: "Against Missouri I tore my up my shoulder and I tore my bicep. Both were tough injuries, but I had to go ahead and finish the season and help my teammates out. I had to show them what kind toughness that I had."
JH: Book, toughness has never been your problem. I know that your teammates greatly respected how tough you are. How much tape did you have to use each game to strap up and play? Did you break the university budget on tape during the season?
BE: "No, not at all, or at least I don't think so. I played with a shoulder harness all year that kept that shoulder in place. Then I just had to fight through it."
JH: You say you are rehabbing the shoulder now, but what did this latest surgery do for you?
BE: "They re-attached my bicep and put my shoulder back in place and fixed it."
JH: Both injuries sound very painful to me?
BE: "Yes, sometimes it was painful, but I was OK."
JH: You say that you are back to 85 percent, so are you back in the weight room on a fulltime basis yet?
BE "No, I am just rehabbing right now and just doing a little bit of weightlifting, but not much."
JH: Did you go to the combine or have you been able to work out for NFL scouts at all?
BE: "I went to the combine, but I wasn't able to work out at all because my doctor limited me on what I could do."
JH: Have you at least been able to run for them or anything?
BE: "No, they will just have to go on game film because I haven't been able to workout for any teams. I haven't been able to do that."
JH: I am sure if they look at your game film before your injury they will see a great player, but afterwards they will see a player who struggled. Am I correct?
BE: "Yeah, they will see a much different player. For the first five games I was going in and wrapping up with both arms, but after that injury I just had to just go in and try to make the big hit."
JH: Everybody knows about your off-the-field troubles you have had in your personal life and what things you are trying to overcome. How much has the NFL talked to you about those problems?
BE: "They want to make sure those problems are behind me. Right now they are behind me. Every day I am working to move forward, to do things the right way and to try to make it in the league."
JH: Has your main focus being trying to prove to the NFL that you are healthy both on and off the field?
BE: "Yeah, I have my life in order right now and I have been talking to a lot of teams. They say they have been impressed with how I am handling my life right now. They are bothered a little bit about the off-the-field issues, but I think they realize those problems are behind me. Right now I think my physical injuries are all they are really worried about."
JH: Do you still feel that you will get drafted, or do you feel that you will wind up a free agent?
BE: "It really doesn't matter as long as I can get on a field a show them that I can play. When I get that opportunity I will be able to show them what I am all about."
JH: What do you weigh right now and what do you want to play at in the NFL? I saw Roy Williams the other day, he is a monster isn't he?
BE: "I saw Roy the other day and he looked great. Right now I am at about 198 pounds and I hope to at 205 in a couple of months. However, I don't think I am ever going to be as big as Roy."
JH: Won't one thing that will be a positive for you once your shoulder heals is that you will be able to lift weights again?
BE: "Yes, that will be a big factor for me because right now I am lifting very lightly with the weights. Right now I am just going day-by-day."
JH: You and Mike Stoops were very close, didn't you to have a great player/coach relationship?
BE: "Coach Mike will always be my favorite coach. I love how he looks at the game and how he took charge of the defense. He let us do our thing on the defense and allowed us to make plays and allowed us to make big plays. His coaching style is the style of coaching that I liked and that was to just get out there and go get it."
JH: When Coach (Mike) Stoops called you the pulse of the defense that had to thrill you?
BE: "I really want to thank Coach for saying that. I had a lot of great players around me and they motivated me to play up to their level. When you are playing with great players like Derrick Strait, Teddy Lehman, Donte Nicholson, Brodney Pool, Tommy Harris, Lance Mitchell and Clint Ingram, you have to play well to play up to their level."
JH: What has it been like to play on what many people believe is the top defense in the country over the last couple of years?
BE: "It was great because we had chemistry like none other. Everybody got along with each other. Everybody just had a winning attitude and wanted to go out and win championships. Unfortunately, we came up short."
JH: Several great players graduated off of last year's defense, so can next years defense be good again? What do you think of the Sooner safety core?
BE: "Brodney Pool is going to be one of the great ones at Oklahoma before he is through. Donte Nicholson has been a great player since he joined us from junior college. Other guys to look out for are Tony Cade and Jason Carter, two players that I mentored a lot and I think both guys are going to be great players for us for a long time."
JH: What did you think of the support you received from the fans at OU?
BE: "I just want to thank them for standing behind me and always supporting me. I screwed up some things and I am sorry for that. I can't thank them enough for all of their support, and I hope in the future I can make them proud of me and the fact that I played for such a great program like the University of Oklahoma."
Injuries could effect Everage's draft status
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