It didn’t take long for Daylen Everette to make an impression on the Georgia football coaching staff. Kirby Smart recognized early on that Everette was a physical cornerback and willing tackler.
That makes him somewhat of a rarity, given most cornerbacks don’t love that aspect of the game. But Everette isn’t your typical cornerback. He signed as a 5-star member of Georgia’s 2022 signing class and emerged as the No. 3 cornerback for the Bulldogs during the 2022 season.
“Extremely bright, intelligent. I think he’s got a great future at Georgia,” co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said of Everette prior to the national championship game. “Really has learned a lot of the stuff, the techniques and the fundamentals of what we work on extremely well. And I think he’s got a really bright future at Georgia.”
Everette ended up seeing the field in Georgia’s 65-7 win over TCU. He replaced Kelee Ringo in Georgia’s lineup, as Ringo was one of several Georgia defenders to get a curtain call from Smart during the second half of the game.
Everette will be one of the cornerbacks vying to replace Ringo on a more permanent basis in 2023, as he is off to the NFL. Ringo understands the upcoming challenge Everette faces, as he himself was a 5-star cornerback in the 2020 recruiting class.
Ringo emerged as a starter during his second year in the program, which is what Everette aims to do.
“It’s a high-stakes, high-reward position,” Ringo said. “You have to be able to deal with that and just put one foot in front of each other.”
Ringo famously intercepted Bryce Young to seal Georgia’s first national championship win. His Georgia career featured some ups and downs, but he leaves as a potential first-round pick after three seasons in the program.
Georgia coaches think Everette can follow the same trajectory. Eric Stokes was a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, while Tyson Campbell was taken with the first pick of the second round in the same draft.
If you’re good enough to be a multi-year starter in Smart’s secondary, odds are you’re going to be highly coveted at the next level.
While Everette enters as the favorite to replace Ringo, it won’t be a paved path to the starting lineup. He’ll have to battle Nyland Green, Julian Humphrey and AJ Harris this spring, with Chris Peal and Daniel Harris arriving this summer. Georgia does bring back Kamari Lassiter, who started 15 games at the cornerback position last season opposite Ringo.
In addition to Ringo, Georgia must also replace safety Chris Smith. The Bulldogs though do bring back both defensive backs coaches, as Muschamp will continue working with the safeties and Fran Brown coach up the cornerbacks.
Everette will be the latest cornerback to have lofty expectations to live up to, as did Ringo and Campbell before him. Both of them did so and Georgia has now won back-to-back championships in part due to their development.
There’s a confidence Everette possesses that makes him an ideal candidate to replace Ringo and be the next key cog in Georgia’s championship machine.
The way this program, the standard they hold us to, the sky is the limit for the program,” Ringo said.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Mike Bobo hire ‘mitigates the gap’ for Georgia quarterbacks Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton
- Kirby Smart has a clear vision with his offensive staff for Georgia football
- Rival QB goes viral while discussing 2021 Georgia football defense: ‘The field was smaller’
- Daniel Calhoun: All-American in-state OT says Georgia ‘really wants me to be a ‘Dawg’
- Anthony ‘Antman’ Edwards makes Georgia proud, first Bulldog in NBA all-star game since Dominique Wilkins
- The position that may benefit the most from new Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo
- Quarterback of highest-scoring offense in Georgia history reflects on Mike Bobo’s 2014 season