Oklahoma Sooners: Kass Everett

You’ve seen them while prepping your fantasy football team. Or reading ESPN Insider Chad Ford while getting ready for the NBA Draft. The “tier system” is an effective way of making sense, differentiating and analyzing a cluster of players. Everyone from pro sport general managers to college coaches out on the trail recruiting employ this method.

With this is mind, SoonerNation has parsed out Oklahoma’s roster into 10 separate tiers. Here they are:

Tier 1: The Elite (Guys who could play for almost anyone)

During the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. Each day, we will analyze each player’s impact on the program since arriving on campus, his potential impact this fall and his long-term impact. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

No. 23 Kass Everett
Cornerback, 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, senior

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Over the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each scholarship player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. We'll analyze each player’s impact on the program since they arrived on campus, their potential impact this fall and their long-term impact in the daily series. Starting with No. 1 Tony Jefferson, the series will go in numerical order until our final analysis of No. 98 Chuka Ndulue.

No. 23 Kass Everett
Cornerback, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds

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Chat wrap: Strength of OU defense

April, 18, 2012

SoonerNation writer Jake Trotter chatted with readers Monday. Here's the full transcript. If you didn't get your question answered, send it to Jake's mailbag to be published on Friday.

Here are a few highlights from the chat:

Josh (Oklahoma): What is the word on Joseph Ibiloye, what was injured? Is Corey Nelson having trouble or was him on second team part of Bob's crazy lineups in the spring games?

Jake Trotter: Ibby just banged up his shoulder. Stoops said he expected him to be fine in a week. I think it's a combination of both. Mike wants to play 6 DBs at times, and that leaves Nelson as the odd man out. But Mike also said Nelson had been too inconsistent throughout the spring, which is ironic considering his was the MVP of the spring last year. Nelson apparently turned a corner in the last week, and played pretty well in Red-White game. He'll still be a big part of the defense.

Drew (Texas): Will our secondary be the weakest area of the team this season?

Jake Trotter: On the contrary. I think it could be the strength of the defense. Tony Jefferson, Aaron Colvin and Demontre Hurst are stars. The key is Javon Harris, but he's rebounded really well in the spring. Plus, I see more guys being ready to play next season, which should make it a deeper unit. I have more concerns about the d-line than the secondary.

Brandon (SLC): Assuming Tyrus Thompson is a legit threat to start at LT, is Lane Johnson back in the picture as a potential RT starter? Or would Lane be the primary backup at both positions?

Jake Trotter: No, Daryl Williams apparently has locked down the starting job at RT. They've been very pleased with him. When Latu gets on campus, I could see him being the backup there at RT with Derek Farniok. Lane and Tyrus are staying on the left side.

Donnie (Oklahoma): Is Kass Everett still adjusting to the speed of D1 football or is he just not as good as we thought?

Jake Trotter: Anyone who assumed he was good enough to start right away was just getting carried away with the hype. If Everett was a potential All-American, Alabama, LSU and USC would have been recruiting him, too. That said, he is still adjusting to D1 speed and the schemes in the defense. I don't see him being a big factor this season.

One of the biggest position battles defensively this spring is the one to replace all-conference cornerback Jamell Fleming. When asked who has stood out thus far, Bob Stoops singled out senior-to be Lamar Harris.

“He and Joe Powell continue to get the most action there,” Stoops said. “They're doing well with it.”

Powell, a converted wideout, played corner last season before switching to receiver for the Insight Bowl because of depth concerns.

While Harris and Powell have shown the most this spring, Stoops added that “there's always an opportunity to put Aaron Colvin there as well.” Colvin, who started safety last season, played corner as a freshman while backing up Fleming. Colvin is sitting out this spring so his injured shoulder can recover.

Stoops also said that Julian Wilson “has looked good” and that junior-college transfer Kass Everett “shows promise” despite still being in the early stages of learning Mike Stoops’ defense.
New defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is hard at work during his return to Oklahoma with the hope of making the Sooners' secondary among the nation’s best. But he understands they have a long way to go.

[+] EnlargeDemontre Hurst and Tony Jefferson
Jackson Laizure/Getty ImagesOklahoma's Tony Jefferson (1) and Demontre Hurst are locked in as starters in 2012.
Cornerback Demontre Hurst and safety Tony Jefferson have been bright spots for Stoops during the first few weeks of spring practice.

“Demontre and Tony Jefferson are guys that really jump out at you,” said Stoops, who doubles as OU’s secondary coach. “[With] their consistency and the confidence they play with.”

And Aaron Colvin -- who is missing spring practice due to shoulder surgery -- was one of the best players on OU’s defense in 2011.

So the focus of this spring has been finding a starter opposite Hurst.

“Our young corners need a lot of work,” Stoops said. “We have to continue to get better at the other corner position.”

There are several players who could step in opposite Hurst including Colvin, junior college transfer Kass Everett, junior Joe Powell, senior Lamar Harris, junior Gabe Lynn and others. Powell, one of the most athletic players on the squad, has shown signs of getting more comfortable at cornerback after bouncing back and forth between offense and defense during his career.

Overall, Stoops feels good about the talent in the secondary, particularly when Colvin returns.

“I think we have a good group,” Stoops said. “Once we get Aaron back, we’re going to have a lot of flexibility.”

Chat leftovers: Cornerback battle

March, 27, 2012

SoonerNation writer Jake Trotter chatted with readers Monday. Here's the full transcript. If you didn't get your question answered, send it to Jake's mailbag to be published on Friday.

Here are a few highlights from the chat:

Josh (Oklahoma): Who wins the CB spot, Kass Everett, Gabe Lynn, Joe Powell? Or will Aaron Colvin be moved over? What is the word out of spring?

Jake Trotter: Of Everett, Lynn and Powell, if I had to put money on it today, I'd say Powell. He's had a very solid spring. That said, it wouldn't stun me if Mike Stoops ultimately moved Colvin to corner.

Cody (Madison, WI): Will Brennan Clay ever be an impact RB for the Sooners?

Jake Trotter: Depends on your definition of "impact." Is he ever going to be a 1,000-yard guy? Probably not. But he could become a valuable rotation guy in the backfield.

Donnie (Oklahoma): The DT position is the one area I see we need big time improvement. Will Jamarkus McFarland finally live up to the Hype he had coming out of HS? Will somebody else step up?

Jake Trotter: McFarland could become a very serviceable player, but the window has closed on him becoming Gerald McCoy or Tommie Harris. Watch out for Jordan Phillips. His athleticism has generated some buzz so far this spring.

Brandon (SLC): Any insight on the tackle situation after some more spring practices? How has Lane Johnson acclimated to LT?

Jake Trotter: He seems to act like the transition has been seamless. Johnson basically told me that he's a more natural fit for LT, because it's a position that requires more athleticism than RT, which requires more power.

Position battle update: Cornerback 

March, 23, 2012
While the Sooners are on spring break this week, SoonerNation will update readers on five position battles this spring. For today: Cornerback.

The competition to start at cornerback opposite Demontre Hurst could be the most interesting position battle of the spring at Oklahoma.

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Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. The Insight Bowl could prove to be the turning point in defensive end R.J. Washington's career. In that game, Washington went head-to-head with Iowa's Riley Reiff, a probable top 10 pick next month, and racked up two sacks. Bob Stoops has since raved about Washington's work ethic and leadership. Washington, remember, was the top recruit from the class of '08 and the No. 1 player from Texas. Once, he seemed destined to remain on the sideline. Now, he seems primed for a big senior season.

2. The battle at CB continues. Mike Stoops is trying out a number of different combinations. But don't rule out Aaron Colvin. Stoops has praised Colvin's versatility so profusely, you wonder if in the back of his mind he's considering swinging Colvin there. If Kass Everett or Gabe Lynn or anyone fails to emerge there, Stoops won't hesitate to make a move. Corner is a critical position in a Mike Stoops defense, and he will be sure that position is solidified. Even if that means changing Colvin's position again.

3. How long will it be before the men's basketball team returns to the NCAA tournament? Given what's returning, and what's coming in, it's incredibly difficult to envision the Sooners being part of March Madness next season, either.

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Roundtable: Impact recruit in 2012 

February, 1, 2012
Which Oklahoma commit in the class of 2012 will make the biggest impact next season?

CB Kass Everett (Philadelphia/Pierce College)
With Jamell Fleming graduated, the Sooners are in desperate need of help at cornerback. Enter Everett. The junior-college transfer, who picked OU over Texas Tech, is already on campus, and with the benefit of spring practice, Everett could enter the fall as the favorite to start opposite Demontre Hurst. The Sooners would prefer to leave Aaron Colvin at safety. Everett’s presence could allow them to do just that.
- Jake Trotter

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Analysis: OU misses out on Colin Blake 

February, 1, 2012
As expected, the Sooners missed out on San Antonio, Texas, cornerback Colin Blake, who faxed in his letter of intent to Florida State. Blake was rated the No. 30 cornerback in the country by ESPNU and the No. 90 overall player from the state of Texas. Blake became a hot name for the Sooners in December when he took an official visit on Dec. 16. But Blake followed that up with visits to Florida State and TCU, and speculation was that Blake ultimately decided between the Seminoles and Horned Frogs.

What it means for the class and where he fits in: Even though the Sooners missed out on Blake and had De'Vante Harris and Kevin Peterson, they feel solid about their cornerback class. OU got Baylor commit Zack Sanchez to flip and sign with the Sooners (he already sent in his letter of intent). OU is also hoping for good news from Florida cornerback Gary Simon, who is expected to sign any moment now.

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CB Zack Sanchez switches to Sooners 

January, 30, 2012
Three-star cornerback Zack Sanchez said last week he was “60-40” in favor of choosing Oklahoma over Baylor. There are no more percentages needed as Sanchez switched his commitment from the Bears to the Sooners on Monday.

Sanchez announced his decision on Twitter, saying "Officially a Oklahoma Sooner !!! #BOOMERSOONER"

He took an official visit to OU over the weekend and refused to talk to anybody about the visit, saying he needed time to think. He went to sleep Sunday night confident with his decision and woke up Monday with no doubts that Norman, Okla., was going to be his home.

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Brent Venables' recruiting prowess a loss 

January, 18, 2012
With the news of Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables leaving to become the defensive coordinator at Clemson, it’s just another hurdle the Sooners will have to climb over on the recruiting trail.

For all the success OU has had recruiting on offense in 2012, the defense has featured one big miss after another. But that has been regarding top recruits. The loss of Venables might end up being the biggest loss of all.

Venables has a reputation of being a fantastic recruiter, of being a player’s coach. He has earned that reputation. His departure is going to make it that much more tough for the Sooners to close out strong on defense for the class of 2012.

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Everett ready to meet new position coach 

January, 15, 2012
During his recruitment process, junior college cornerback Kass Everett (Philadelphia/Pierce College) kept using one term to describe how he would make his college choice: business decision.

After graduating from high school in Philadelphia, spending one year at the University of Delaware and then playing a season at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., Everett brings perspective that high school graduates simply don't have.

So when Everett, an Oklahoma signee who is arriving on campus this weekend, heard about Mike Stoops coming back to OU to be the co-defensive coordinator, he didn’t bat an eye.

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In five seasons with Mike Stoops coaching the secondary, Oklahoma had five defensive backs named All-America.

Since? The Sooners have had just one.

[+] EnlargeMike Stoops
AP Photo/J. Pat CarterMike Stoops will return to Oklahoma as the secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator.
Sources have told ESPN's Joe Schad that Stoops will rejoin the OU staff, with an announcement coming as soon as today. The former Arizona coach will return to his old title of secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator where he served the Sooners from 1999-2003.

Current secondary coach Willie Martinez is expected to take a job elsewhere. Martinez has been connected to jobs at Kansas, Illinois and Auburn.

The Sooners are counting on Stoops to bring some bite back to a secondary that has been up and down since he left.

Just last season, Oklahoma ranked No. 79 in pass defense. The Sooners also surrendered a school-record 616 yards in the loss to Baylor, including 485 through the air.

After 1999, the Sooners never finished lower than No. 25 in pass defense under Stoops, and in his final season in '03, OU ranked No. 2 against the pass, allowing only 146 yards per game.

Of course, Big 12 offenses have changed since Stoops left OU. The spread has made the Big 12 perhaps the top passing league in college football.

But in the pass heavy Pac-12, Arizona ranked No. 45, 34 and 23 nationally against the pass entering this season. The Wildcats finished this season ranked No. 119, but Stoops was fired after a 1-5 start midway through the season.

In Norman, Stoops will have some cogs already in place in the secondary. But he’ll have some work to do, too. The Sooners have a trio of foundational pieces in nickelback Tony Jefferson, safety Aaron Colvin and cornerback Demontre Hurst. All three players have performed at a high level as starters the last two seasons.

The trick for Stoops will be shoring up the rest of the secondary by finding another reliable corner and safety.

After Jamell Fleming got hurt, Texas Tech exploited OU’s lack of depth at corner and torched Fleming’s backup Gabe Lynn en route to a 41-38 win.

Safety Javon Harris, meanwhile, got beat time after time at Baylor, as Robert Griffin III threw for four touchdowns to give the Bears a 45-38 victory.

Stoops could give both Lynn and Harris another chance this spring. Or he could turn to others such as junior-college cornerback Kass Everett or up-and-coming safety Quentin Hayes.

Whatever the case, there’s no doubting Stoops is an excellent secondary coach and defensive mind. Roy Williams, J.T. Thatcher, Brandon Everage, Antonio Perkins and Derrick Strait all thrived under his tutelage.

Chances are, Jefferson, Colvin, Hurst and the others will, too.


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