FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - For Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa, two young receivers vying for a spot on the Jets' roster, the competition at training camp initially was a bit surreal.
In middle school, they watched as Darrelle Revis dominated his coverages and emerged as one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL. They can remember using Brandon Marshall to pull down passes in the end zone while playing Madden in high school.
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But when they're lining up with the first team -- as they did at camp Monday, opposite Revis and alongside Marshall -- all of that abruptly fades. Now it's about soaking up everything they can from them.
"They're always trying to make you better," Enunwa said. "The competition is the most exciting part, the biggest driving force for me. I go out there and I just try to be like them . . . or beat them."
Added Evans: "You want to bring your 'A' game. And when you bring that intensity level every single day going against them, it becomes part of your DNA."
The Jets drafted both receivers in 2014. Evans is 6-1, 213 pounds and was a fourth-round pick from UCLA. Enunwa (6-2, 225) was selected in the sixth round out of Nebraska. Both stormed into training camp after facing adversity last year.
"Just the fact that I was on the practice squad last year was my motivation," Enunwa said. "This year, there's not really a hurdle because everybody has a fresh start. New coaching staff, new GM, so you really get an opportunity to just start over and impress the new guys."
For Evans, a return from season-ending shoulder surgery, the second he's endured since graduating high school, proved a long and challenging road.
"My right arm looked like a noodle at one point," Evans said. "But the biggest thing about this game sometimes is the mental part . . . but I was able to stay focused and mentally strong."
Both are in the mix for the fourth spot behind Marshall, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley.
"You just want to put yourself in the best position possible to make the team and leave your impression on the coaches," Evans said. "Whether you make the team here or if you make it somewhere else. Just stay consistent, stay focused, keep making plays, and the coaches will always have something good to say about you."