ATHENS — Even defensive lineman Zion Logue could see it. He knew Daylen Everette had all the tools necessary to be an impactful player for the Georgia football program.

That’s why he didn’t hesitate to push Everette during the 2022 season when the then-freshman served as a backup to Kelee Ringo and Kamari Lassiter.

“I seen the greatness that he had when he came in. He’s fast, pretty long for a corner,” Logue said. “He’s technique savvy. He’s a guy who wants to compete every rep, and I just told him ever since I seen him the first couple days of fall camp last year, ‘Just keep going. Keep working. Your time’s going to come.’ And it’s here now, and he’s gone out and showed it. He’s a hell of a player.”

Everette won Georgia’s starting cornerback spot opposite Lassiter and has since become a mainstay in the Georgia lineup. The Bulldogs will still rotate Julio Humphrey in to get him first-team reps, but Everette should still be seen as the starter.

With his place in the Georgia lineup secure, Everette is focused on getting better. He recognizes he’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so since he plays opposite Lassiter. The junior cornerback has emerged as one of the top defensive backs in the SEC.

That has led other teams to try and go after the more inexperienced Everette. Against Auburn, Everette was flagged for pass interference early in the game.

“I mean, I try to grow week-by-week. Try to get better week-by-week,” Everette said “Getting picked on, if that is the case, I really like that because it will help you more.”

Late in the game though, Everette came away with a key pass breakup. He’s yet to come away with his first interception, but through six games Everette has 10 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and 4 pass breakups.

Everette knows he plays in one of the most talented secondaries in the country, as he’s also flanked by Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard and Tykee Smith. The sophomore cornerback believes that helps him as he continues to get his feet wet as an SEC cornerback

“I feel like it’s grown a lot and really because of the people I have around me that help me build my confidence,” Everette said. “If something goes wrong, they’re there to help me up - all the older guys. Definitely, Kamari [Lassiter], Tykee [Smith], Javon Bullard, like they all try to point me to the right direction. I really appreciate them for that because I try to take stuff that they take out of their game, I try to put into mine. That’s what helps me build my confidence.”

Confidence came up often during Everette’s interview session on Tuesday. The cornerback spoke about the importance of having a next-play mentality, given how opposing teams will try to target the young cornerback.

He acknowledges that bad plays will happen. That’s just life in the SEC. The key is to not let one mistake or slip-up influence the next one.

“Well I think if you don’t have confidence, you’ll never be a corner in this league. You better have some confidence,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “Whether you play well or not, you better have it because they’re going to keep coming at you. They’re going to challenge you. You’re going to have some plays you don’t win. You’ve got to believe you’re going to win them all.”

Smart told reporters that Everette’s confidence is quieter than it is brash. Everette is not in the Deoin Sanders mold of letting opposing wide receivers know that he is better than him.

Everette is much more content to listen and go about his business. Whether it be Smart or Logue or one of the many talented Georgia defensive backs, Everette has a lot of people in the Georgia football program telling him how capable he is.

And the sophomore cornerback is only just starting to show those talents to everyone else.

“I feel like we’re at a pretty good spot overall. But there’s always room for improvement,” Everette said of the Georgia secondary. “We try to get better week-by-week. Try to get more detailed in stuff we do.”

Daylen Everette shares how he’s grown as a starting cornerback for Georgia