Birthday: September 24, 1980
Strengths: Brandon Everage is living on the edge. He goes for the big play and often makes one, setting the tone for the vaunted Sooner defense. Known for his aggressive, physical style, Everage plays the whole field looking to lay the hardest hit he can, giving his teammates the spark they need to dominate on gamedays.
Everage tied for the Big 12 conference lead in interceptions last season, and he’s had a number of stellar games that could fill highlight reels. His hit on Texas receiver B.J. Johnson set up an interception by a teammate that captured the lead for good in the 2002 win over the Longhorns. Everage essentially put the kibosh on Iowa State’s Seneca Wallace and his bid for a Heisman last fall when he picked off two of Wallace’s passes and deflected four more, then he added a sack for good measure.
Arriving in Norman as a quarterback, Everage made the transition to safety after redshirting his first season. He established himself as a big time player in 2001, highlighted by his team-leading three forced fumbles. With good speed and range, Everage continued the momentum into last season even after fellow safety Roy Williams was drafted by the Cowboys in the 2002 draft.
Areas for Concern: It’s feast or famine for Everage. He can have those All-American type performances, like the ones he’s had against Iowa State, Air Force, and Colorado, but he can also have some stinkers, too. Everage will need to prove his consistency this fall to justify his status as a top pick at safety.
As part of a Sooner secondary that was burned deep several times last season, Everage shared in the blame for breakdowns in coverage, notably against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. The secondary appeared out of position at times, perhaps brought on by their aggressive gameplanning to stop the run. His aggressiveness costs him in other areas as well. On several occasions last season, Everage failed to wrap up the ballcarrier in his fury to make a bone-jarring hit.
Everage could assign some of his inconsistent play on a few nagging injuries to his knee and ankle, but moreso to his shoulder, an injury that required offseason surgery in January. Most concerning for Everage, however, was his arrest in February when he was caught with marijuana seeds and the alleged intent to distribute during an undercover operation. This follows a 1999 DWI arrest in which he pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? The Texans have the need at safety, so Everage should be someone they watch closely outside of the first round. Everage, who hails from Granger, Texas, will need to show better awareness on play fakes and adjust his game to better defend the deep pass, plus he’ll need to prove himself as fully recovered from injury.
And by all means, Everage will need to stay clear of the law. His time missed during 2003 spring drills due to suspension and injury opened the door for sophomore sensation Brodney Pool. Everage will need to stay on the field to keep Pool from taking his playing time.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Brandon Everage’s 2002 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 14 94 12 6 1 0
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