Everett chooses Stony Brook
patrick matsinko/times news Pleasant Valley's Dakota Everett signs a letter of intent to continue his academic and football career at Stony Brook College. Joining Everett for the signing are, front row, from left, Bear assistant coach Bob Madsen, head coach Jim Terwilliger, Dakota's mom Laurie Everett, Dakota Everett, Dakota's dad Butch Everett, and Pleasant Valley Assistant Athletic Director Greg Bowman. Back row, Bear assistant coaches James Ward, Matt Triolo and Dave Biever.
Pleasant Valley's Dakota Everett earned recogntion throughout the season for his play on the field and not so much for what he did off of it. And that is rightfully so, as Everett contributed 163 tackles and five sacks for the Bears on his way to being named to the PIAA Class AAAA All-State team and Mountain Valley Conference All-Conference team.
On Wednesday afternoon though, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker made news by announcing his intentions to play football at Stony Brook University in New York, a Division I Football Championship Subdivision Program, formerly Division I-AA.
Everett certainly had options as he went through the recruiting process.
"I had a couple of choices here and there," Everett said. "It started off with Stony Brook, Maine, New Hampshire and Towson, those are the schools that showed the most interest in me.
"Then it kind of got narrowed down to Maine and Stony Brook. I picked Stony Brook because they have great facilities and it's a cool place and has a great atmosphere. That's what I liked."
Stony Brook finished last season with a 10-3 record and reached the Division I Football Championship playoffs for the second straight year. The Seawolves also beat Army last season, capturing their first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision school.
Everett is willing to do whatever it takes to help the program continue its success, even if it means redshirting and spending a year on the sidelines.
"We talked a little bit about it, I talked to the linebacking coach," Everett said. "Redshirting has its ups-and-downs.
"Of course I want to play, but am I going to complain about being redshirted? No. Coaches make the choices and I'll go with it."
Regardless of what happens next season, the Stony Brook coaching staff can be sure they will get a player that is fully-committed to the program.
"I'm not going to go on the field and roll over for anybody," Everett said. "I'm going to go out there and play the game I know.
"If I play as a true-freshman, then I play. If I don't, I don't."
For now, Everett is thankful for the time he spent at Pleasant Valley and the lessons he learned playing for head coach Jim Terwilliger.
"Coach Terwilliger brought his work ethic and everything he knows into our program and turned it around a lot," Everett said. "Now we're a team that's a force to be reckoned with in the MVC and it's definitely a rewarding feeling knowing that you helped turn a program around."
Terwilliger had just as much praise for Everett and what he meant to the program.
"Dakota meant more than you can describe, in terms of leadership, on the field and off the field," Terwilliger said. "His play and what he did here at Pleasant Valley took our program to another level.
"He's a young man that played the game the way it's supposed to be played and his play elevated the play of others. I thought he was a tremendous leader and he did it the right way. I couldn't be prouder of him."
Terwilliger expects nothing but success for Everett at the next level.
"I expect Dakota to go right in as a young man and work hard, compete and put himself in a position that he's done since he's been a young guy," Terwilliger said. "He's willing to put the work in and I believe anybody that's willing to do that has a chance.
"We look forward to watching some Stony Brook games coming up. It should be fun."