A year ago, all that Paramus Catholic linebacker Semaj Everett could do was look on from the sidelines with a shoulder injury as his Paladin teammates struggled to a 3-6 record. Rather than sulk on his status and his team’s shortcomings, Everett used this time to dedicate himself inside the film room and come out the other side not only healthy but more mentally prepared to make an impact on the field.
That impact is showing clearly during the 2016 season.
“I would say I’m a really smart player,” Everett told Today’s U. “I can look at an offense and know which way the play is going or what their offense might be trying to do. I think I’m not a selfish player. I have no problem sacrificing my body and putting my body on the line for the good of the team.”
During his first two years of high school, Everett attended Don Bosco Prep, one of the premier football programs in the country. Then for his junior season, Everett transferred to Paramus Catholic to finish out his high school career.
Coincidentally, former Paramus Catholic all-American Jabrill Peppers also took the Bosco-to-Paramus route before ending up at Michigan for his college career. Everett actually opened up his first game in a Paladins jersey on the same field Peppers currently plays on — Michigan Stadium.
“It was a really fun experience playing there in the Big House,” Everett said. “A lot of people don’t get that opportunity. To get to play there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The next day we got to stay for Michigan’s home opener against Hawaii. It was pretty fun.”
In that contest, Michigan downed Hawaii by a 60-point margin, 63-3, and from Everett’s perspective the Michigan defense looked “crisp” and well-prepared. Apart from his visit to Michigan, the school of which his father is a fan, Everett has seen several other colleges solely on his grades and size.
The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker, who also maintains a 3.6 grade-point average, spoke about his time on the recruiting trail thus far.
“I’ve visited a few schools,” Everett said. “It was all based on my size and my academics, like during the offseason I visited Penn, an Ivy League school. I went to Cornell, I’ve been to Rutgers a few times and schools like that.
“Academics, schools have shown interest in me because of my size and they have seen my workout. They don’t have the film but my grades and my size, they say, makes up for a lack of film. Then my senior year, once I have film, they are going to evaluate me and see what they can do.”
Based on the early tape posted onto his Hudl page, Everett displays many traits that collegiate defensive coordinators are looking for, such as the ability to take on lead blockers, meet ball carriers in the hole and travel sideline to sideline in pursuit of the football. Considering these traits in conjunction with his size, Everett has the makings of a Division I football player.
In terms of where he would like to go to college, the perfect distance is somewhere around the lines of one to two hours away from home. He is contemplating majoring in either Engineering or Psychology.
“I don’t want to be on the other side of the [United] States,” Everett said.
Where that school will be, though, is still up in the air as Everett focuses on the current football season at hand, his final go around in high school and return from a shoulder injury. And although Everett grew up a fan of LSU, the New Jersey senior prospect is keeping his options open for the time being.