If not for Proposition 48, wide receiver Tre Everett wouldn't be dragging himself out of bed at 6 o'clock most mornings to arrive at Ballou High School at least an hour before his classmates.

If not for Proposition 48, T.C. Williams Coach Glenn Furman wouldn't be spending about 25 percent of the time he once spent coaching, working as an unofficial academic counselor to his players.

And if not for Proposition 48, Forestville wide receiver Leslie Shepherd wouldn't have spent 2 1/2 hours a week this summer (and an hour a week this fall) being tutored in mathematics.

It has been a year since Proposition 48, the stricter NCAA eligibility requirements, went into effect, mandating that high school seniors have a minimum grade-point average and minimum score on the SAT college entrance examination.

In response, many area high schools have established new programs, from SAT preparatory courses to individual counseling, to help their football players meet the guidelines.

Under Proposition 48, seniors like Everett and Shepherd, two of the area's most highly recruited players, will need at least a 700 (out of 1,600) on the SAT and at least a 2.0 grade-point average in 11 core courses to be eligible to play in college as freshmen. Without those grades, the players can be admitted to an NCAA member school, but can't play or practice in their freshman years. And if they accept a scholarship for their first year of college, athletes forfeit that year of eligibility. Of Dreams and Reality

Faced with paying such a steep price, athletes have been forced to shift their priorities and change their academic outlook. As Everett matter-of-factly put it: "I have to keep up my grades and I have to pass the SAT {requirement} to do what I want to do. If I didn't have to have {the 700 on} the SAT or the 2.0 {before Proposition 48 took effect}, it wouldn't matter much. It wouldn't faze me."

In the cases of Everett and Shepherd, the rule is especially significant. Both have solid grade-point averages at their respective schools (Shepherd made the honor roll three times last year at Forestville). But because both have been unsuccessful in their attempts to achieve a 700 on the SAT, the two players, who probably would have been easily admitted to most colleges in pre-Proposition 48 days, are in somewhat precarious positions. If they don't get a 700 the next time they take the test, they will have to continue taking it.

The mountain of recruiting mail the two preseason all-Americas have received from interested colleges throughout the country carries with it a built-in academic disclaimer. For these players, the SAT requirement is turning the pleasant dream of playing college football into a very uneasy nightmare.

"It has definitely put a scare into the kids," said Shepherd's coach, Eric Knight. "It scares me, too. You see the kids work hard in class and then you see them realize that here's Proposition 48 and the SAT can make or break them."

The test score broke two of the top players on last year's Gaithersburg football team that won the Maryland Class AA state title. Because they couldn't score a 700, neither player received the Division I scholarship he most certainly would have gotten before the rule. Instead, one went to junior college, another went to a Division I-AA school. Both could one day transfer to Division I-A schools.

"I have used that as an example to this year's team, that these two kids could have gone to any college in the country if they had the grades," said Gaithersburg Coach John Harvill. "They were given every opportunity to succeed, from SAT prep courses to special tutoring." Schools Take Action

Schools have responded to Proposition 48 differently. Ballou has a mandatory SAT prep course for every football-playing senior at 8 a.m.; T.C. Williams has an elective SAT prep course during the school day, and Forestville not only gets players like Shepherd tutoring in English and math, but it also intends to start its own SAT program sometime this school year.

Other schools have merely relied on existing programs to keep an eye on their players. For instance, District public schools have tutorial programs for all students who fall below a 2.0 grade-point average, said Supervisor of Athletics Otto Jordan.

Courtland, the defending Virginia Commonwealth District champion featuring a Street & Smith magazine top-50 high school player in linebacker Tim Canada, monitors its players with three-week progress reports.

"Last year I counseled all of the rising juniors and seniors and I made them aware of Proposition 48," Courtland Coach Ken Brown said. "Whether or not they make it depends on them."

Various jurisdictions, including Prince George's County, have pass-or-play rules that limit eligibility to players with 2.0 grade-point averages, so many of those players should be able to meet at least half of the Proposition 48 requirement, provided they are enrolled in the proper courses.

Then, it comes down to the test.

"I spend a lot of time thinking about it {the SAT}," Shepherd said. "I like to play. I don't like to sit around. A 700 is not that hard to get."

Coaches also are spending a lot of time thinking about the test. Even those coaches who have decided against using a Proposition 48 preparation program for their players say the rule has changed the way they do their jobs. Courtland, for instance, is one of the few schools that have a planning period for coaches, partly so they can counsel their athletes academically, Brown said. Other schools may follow.

"Part of coaching now is counseling the athletes to make Proposition 48," said T.C. Williams' Furman. "You can't just ignore that anymore."

So far, many of the coaches' efforts are working. Last season, Ballou sent eight players to college teams and Coach Frank Young said all met the Proposition 48 requirements. At DeMatha, where players are closely monitored beginning in their junior years, eight players signed with Division I-A schools last season and all made Proposition 48. A Question of Fairness

Still, there are questions about the priority being given to the SAT, which some think discriminates against minorities. A recent survey by the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University found that 85 percent of all football players who failed to reach Proposition 48 minimums were black.

Even DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor, whose players all have made the requirements the past two years, thinks the SAT is prejudiced against high school athletes from low-income homes, especially in its vocabulary questions.

"I think it really does discriminate because of the home environment," he said. "A lot of times with a poor economic background you have that bad environment. When I was growing up there were always books and magazines around to read. With some of these poor families, that's not the case.

"My parents were always making sure I was studying. In poor families, the kids are often on their own."

But even the coaches and players who don't like the SAT requirement say Proposition 48 at least has been successful in the academic support programs it has stimulated and the atmosphere of concern it has spawned.

"It makes me more aware of academics," said Mount Vernon Coach Bruce Patrick. "It keeps me on top of things. I don't think there's a question it's made a difference."

Said Forestville's Knight, who strongly opposes using an SAT score to decide eligibility, "I don't think Leslie {Shepherd} would be getting tutored if it weren't for Proposition 48. I don't think any of the kids would. I don't think the coaches would be giving all these SAT courses. So from that aspect, it's good."