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83-Steelers-43
05-17-2006, 07:50 AM
Former FS Everett elected to Hall
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

By BOB LABRIOLA

Steelers.com



It was the day of the 1987 NFL Draft, and the Pittsburgh Steelers went into it knowing they needed defensive backs. Based on their 6-10 finish the previous season, the Steelers had the 10th overall pick in the first round, and they were intent on not wasting any time.

Everybody knew the best defensive back available in the 1987 draft was a cornerback from Purdue named Rod Woodson, a player so good the Steelers had no expectation of him being there when it came time for their pick. But when he was ? thanks to huge miscalculations by the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Cardinals ? the Steelers wasted no time in picking him.

Then came the second round, and the Steelers still wanted another defensive back, and so they picked a Clemson cornerback named Delton Hall. At that point, they believed their work for the day was done. Two picks, two prototype cornerbacks. Big, fast and physical. The secondary was better as soon as their names were announced as official draft picks.

A funny thing happened to the Steelers when it was time for their fourth-round pick ? they didn't need any more defensive backs, but there was another one there who was too good to pass up.

"When Woodson was there in the first round), he was the obvious choice," said Tony Dungy, the Steelers' defensive coordinator, at the time. "In the second round, we liked Thomas Everett because he made a lot of plays, but we really needed corners. Since we had been talking about Delton Hall in the first round, and he was still there, we took him in the second. We weren't going to take any more defensive backs, but when Everett still was there in the fourth, we said, 'Here's a guy we were talking about in the first and second rounds ? we'd be crazy not to take him."

The Steelers weren't crazy, and so the professional football career of Thomas Everett began. When it was over, Everett played nine NFL seasons, including five for the Steelers, and he won two Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys.

The NFL was a little leery of Everett at first, because he was generously listed as 5-foot-9, but there never was any question about his production as a college player at Baylor. And it's because of that college career that Everett was named a member of the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class, which was announced on May 16 by Ron Johnson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

Everett is one of 15 who will be enshrined, a group that includes 13 All-America players and two legendary coaches. Everett's coach at Baylor, Grant Teaff, once called him the second-best player he ever coached, after Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary.

"I thought he was 6-foot-3," said Teaff of Everett's height. "All those people who came down the middle of the field thought he was 6-3, too. He's short, but so is Singletary.

"Size was probably the thing that marked him down with the pros."

During Everett's career at Baylor, the Bears won 30 games in four years and appeared in three bowl games. Everett earned unanimous All-America honors in 1986, played in the Hula Bowl and received the Jim Thorpe

Award as the nation's top defensive back that season, and two of the guys he beat out for the honor were Woodson and Hall.

"If you watched all the defensive backs (in 1986), even Woodson, Everett was the most productive guy out there," said Dungy. "As far as making plays, making tackles, getting to the ball and getting interceptions, he showed up on film more than anyone else who came out that year."

Everett twice was named Southwest Conference Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Conference, and he was voted the conference's Athlete of the Year for the 1986-87 school year.

Named to Baylor's All-Decade Team of the 1980s, Everett ranks among

the school's top 10 in career interceptions (12), tackles (325), punt

returns (80) and punt return yards (766). A member of the Baylor

Athletics Hall of Fame, he led his team in punt return yards three times.

With the Steelers, Everett had 16 interceptions in five seasons, with a high of four in 1991. Everett currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Joining Everett in the Class of 2006 from the players' group are: Bobby Anderson, RB, Colorado, 1967-69; Bennie Blades, DB, Miami (Fla.), 1985-87; Carl Eller, T, Minnesota, 1961-63; Steve Emtman, DL, Washington, 1989-91; Chad Hennings, DT, Air Force, 1984-87; Chip Kell, OG, Tennessee, 1968-70; Mike Phipps, QB, Purdue, 1967-69; Mike Rozier, RB, Nebraska, 1981-83; Jeff Siemon, LB, Stanford, 1968-71; Bruce Smith, DT, Virginia Tech, 1981-84; Emmitt Smith, RB, Florida, 1987-89; and Charlie Ward, QB, Florida State, 1989, 1991-93. The two coaches in the class are: Bobby Bowden, Samford (1959-62), West Virginia (1970-75),

Florida State (1976-present), 359-107-4; and Joe Paterno, Penn State (1966-present), 354-117-3.

Ohio Steeler
05-17-2006, 08:57 AM
congrats Everett