Daylen Everette: 5-star CB signee was a key 11th-hour addition to the Georgia class

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry documents the series of events that led 5-star CB signee Daylen Everette to Athens.

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Daylen Everette is one of the two 5-star cornerbacks that signed with the Bulldogs in the 2022 class.

That should sound rather significant.

Kirby Smart had previously signed a combined total of two 5-star corners in his first six recruiting cycles at Georgia. That was Tyson Campbell in 2018 and Kelee Ringo in 2020.

The #Bo22Moves signees matched that feat with their class.

While Everette signed with Georgia, there was late intrigue. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound freshman stands as one of 12 members of the 2022 class that was at one time committed to another program.

If Lincoln Riley didn’t leave Oklahoma for USC, Everette would be in orange and purple right now. The new Bulldog corner committed to Clemson back in June of 2021. That changed after one specific head coach was on the move after the 2021 season.

Oklahoma then hired away well-respected Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. When Venables left Clemson, the highest-rated defensive commitments in Dabo Swinney’s 2022 class looked for new homes.

Those three were all teammates at IMG Academy. Everette said his decision was shaped by the fact that two guys he knew so well also planned to sign with Clemson.

Jihaad Campbell wound up signing with Alabama. Keon Sabb signed with Michigan. Everette became a ‘Dawg.

The Sooners hired Venables on Dec. 5. Everette de-committed from Clemson on Dec. 10.

He took a late official visit to Alabama in the short time he had to decide. The Virginia native committed to UGA on Dec. 14 and signed the very day of the first day of the early period.

“Everything just happened really fast,” he said at the Under Armour All-American Game Week. “It was real stressful. I couldn’t really visit that many schools. I kind of had limited options.”

When he initially committed to Clemson on July 17, the Bulldogs were his runner-up school.

There was scant time to find a new school so he went with the school he liked the most after the Tigers. He thought back to how he felt when he wasn’t rushed to make a decision.

Sometimes recruiting can just be that simple. The second choice then became his first option.

“I would say the first choice was just like relationships,” Everette said in regard to initially choosing Clemson. “Like building a relationship. I was talking to their coaches for almost like three years. Like two or three years. That was a lot to it. I had talked to the Georgia coaches for a good couple of months, but it wasn’t like how close it was with Clemson. So I had a better relationship with them.”

Why was it Georgia in the end? He said it was relationships and the chance to play on a big stage at UGA.

“It was really both,” Everette said. “I had always had a good relationship with coach [Jahmile] Addae. Especially coach Addae. He was actually recruiting me before he got to Georgia. When he got there, it just picked up at a different school.”

“Then playing SEC ball is the best of the best.”

It eventually became a decision between Alabama and Georgia.

“It was a hard decision,” he said. “It was hard to choose between them two. But I just thought about it a lot. Talked to my parents and stuff. Talked to them and chose Georgia the night before signing day. I figured it out [that] last Monday night I think.”

He said he stayed in contact with the coaches at UGA after he committed to Clemson.

“Even though I committed, the relationships never really left from the other coaches,” he said. “I was still talking to them every now and then. It was a big respect thing. Everything worked out.”

Of course, the Bulldogs no longer have Addae on the staff. He took the defensive backs coach position at Miami over the last 10 days.

Georgia benefits here from the recruiting presence of Will Muschamp. It seems like every DB signee can say that. Muschamp played a recruiting role with Everette, All-American CB Julian Humphrey and 5-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary.

Each one of those young men has said that Muschamp was a key asset for Georgia in their decisions.

“I already had a good relationship with him because he was recruiting me at South Carolina,” Everette said last month. “So I already knew him well. So when he gets to Georgia, I was like ‘Man’ and he was there and he was a DB guy. Then Coach [Kirby] Smart is a DB guy and then Coach Addae. So I’ve got like three DB coaches. I feel like I can get great development and stuff.”

With Addae off to Miami, that still leaves the Bulldogs with two DB coaches he had a lot of confidence in.

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5-star Georgia CB signee Daylen Everette. He was named an Under Armour All-American and was ranked as the nation's No. 6 CB and the No. 28 overall prospect for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

5-star Georgia CB signee Daylen Everette. He was named an Under Armour All-American and was ranked as the nation's No. 6 CB and the No. 28 overall prospect for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

Daylen Everette: How will he help Georgia?

He eventually finished ranked as the nation’s No. 6 CB and the No. 28 overall prospect for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.

247Sports pegged him as the nation’s No. 3 CB and No. 18 nationally for this cycle. Rivals rated him as the No. 7 CB and No. 43 overall. On3 had him as the nation’s No. 7 CB and the No. 34 overall prospect.

Luther Burden, the 5-star WR who eventually chose Mizzou over the Bulldogs, offered a strong assessment on Everette after facing him all week in Orlando.

He also faced off against IMG Academy and Everette during the regular season.

“He’s definitely one of the best corners here,” Burden said. “Honestly. He and I have honestly been getting some good work in here.”

Evan Stewart, another 5-star WR, also clashed with Everette at the All-American Game week.

“He’s pretty good,” Stewart said. “Yeah, he’s pretty nice. Daylen is pretty fast, though and he knows how to play the position. I like him a lot compared to all of the other guys here.”

What does Everette hope to bring to Athens?

“They are going to get a good player for sure,” he said last month. “I can play anything. Man. Zone. I am a very strong asset in press man. I like to be up in people’s faces and stuff. I can do everything. I’m very versatile. Just going to get a lot out of me with my work ethic. I’m somebody that will work hard every day.”

He likes the unit he is coming in with.

“There’s a whole bunch of ‘Dawgs coming in but I feel like I am a ‘Dawg, too,” he said. “We are going to have some fun for sure.”

It helped the Bulldogs to have future signees Big Bear Alexander and Aliou Bah on the same IMG Academy team. He eventually wound up in college with two of his teammates from IMG Academy.

It was just two different teammates. At a totally new school.

“I saw them every day,” he said. “They kind of saw stuff with me was getting shaky with Clemson and they were like ‘Look. Come to Georgia, bro. Come to Georgia’ every day and all the time with that. Those are my guys, though.”

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5-star Georgia CB signee Daylen Everette. He was named an Under Armour All-American and was ranked as the nation's No. 6 CB and the No. 28 overall prospect for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell / DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

The moment Daylen Everette chose Georgia

Georgia found out he was coming on a Zoom call the Monday night before early signing day. It came about, as stated earlier, in a relatively straightforward manner.

“They were talking and stuff and they were like ‘If you are not coming can you just let us know by maybe tomorrow or something?’ and I was like ‘I will tell you tonight. I’m going to be a ‘Dawg. I want to be a ‘Dawg’ and that’s how it all happened.

The Georgia staff was enthused by that revelation. Everette said that was Addae, Muschamp and Smart were taken aback at first.

“They looked real surprised,” Everette said. “They looked kind of speechless for a good 30 seconds. It was crazy.”

Everette has been to UGA before. He was at UGA for the spring game but has never been to a real game in Sanford Stadium.

“I took my official back in June and I was there and I was comfortable with everything there,” he said.

He’s motivated by the doubters.

“I like to prove people wrong,” he said. “A lot of people doubt me and the big thing is I just want to make my parents proud. They do a lot for me so I just want to show them I want to do stuff for them to kind of like show them that I’m working for all what you are doing for me. I appreciate my parents a lot. They do a lot for me.”

He’s originally from the Norfolk region in Virginia. Everette moved to IMG Academy to further his football career at that prestigious program.

There’s a bit of irony to his story here from the season opener against Clemson in Charlotte. He was there and rooting for the school he was committed to at the time. He just got to see what he now calls “best defense in the country” hold down their ACC foe.

“I saw that defense, man,” he said. “I couldn’t take that away from them. I was like ‘They’ve got a different defense’ and it was nice.”

Everette is now in Athens. He’s one of the 18 scholarship early enrollees who enrolled back in January.

He said last month that the Bulldogs had spoken to him mainly about playing on the outside, but he sounded flexible. Everette exuded the confidence to flourish in a lot of roles.

“It is really on them,” he said. “Where they fit me. I’m just going to do my job. Basically. I will do what I have got to do.”

IMG Academy has been very good to UGA over the last two recruiting cycles. Everette is now one of eight players on the current roster that played at that program. He played at IMG for two seasons, including a junior year in which that program was seen as the mythical national high school champion.

He wanted to play his junior season in the midst of the pandemic. That wasn’t a certainty he was going to get that in his native Virginia. The 5-star said he heard folks say he didn’t need to go there. He already had all the offers he’d need.

“My thing is it really wasn’t about the offers anymore,” he said. “I just wanted to get myself ready for college and practice against the best every day and go against the best competition.”

IMG Academy has sent the following players to Athens since former 5-star TE Isaac Nauta in 2016.

  • 2016: 5-star TE Isaac Nauta (Buford, Ga.)
  • 2017: 4-star DE Robert Beal (Norcross, Ga.)
  • 2019: 5-star OLB Nolan Smith (Savannah, Ga.)
  • 2020: 4-star DT Warren Brinson (Savannah, Ga.)
  • 2021: 5-star LB Xavian Sorey, Jr. (Graceville, Fla.); 4-star RB Lovasea’ Carroll (Warrenton, Ga.); 3-star DL Marlin Dean (Elberton, Ga.)
  • 2022: 5-star CB Daylen Everette (Norfolk, Va.); 4-star DT Big Bear Alexander (Terrell, Tex.) and 4-star OL Aliou Bah (Memphis, Tenn.)

Check out a few clips from his junior year at IMG and his sophomore year in Virginia below:

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