When Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair athlete Alterraun Verner
(5-11, 175) was offered a scholarship by UCLA during the middle of last week, he knew that it was going to speed up his recruitment.
He just didn't think it would speed it up to a mere few days.
Following the Bruin win over Oregon State on Saturday, Verner, who attended the game, decided to end his recruitment and choose the school he had been following since his was a little kid.
"I always wanted to go to UCLA," Verner said. "My parents and I talked about it, and I realized that since UCLA had a lot of commits, and if I would wait, I might miss out on that opportunity. We decided that it was the right time."
Verner received his offer from head coach Karl Dorrell on Wednesday and while he didn't commit on the spot, he knew he would be accepting the offer. "I didn't want to commit just right then. I wanted to talk with my parents about it, but I had a good idea I was going to commit. My parents are real excited, and my coach is happy for me," said Verner.
When the game concluded on Saturday, Verner sought out the coaches in the locker room. "I told Coach Dorrell that I was coming, then I told Coach (Eric) Bieniemy and Coach (Jon) Embree and they all were smiling, welcoming me to the Bruin family. All the coaches welcomed me to the family," said Verner.
When the spring combine and camp tour concluded, the knock on Verner was his speed. Then he began to work with a speed coach and once the pads and helmets were on, Verner showed what he could do. "To be honest, I think that most people haven't seen all that I can do. It's just a little sample of what I'm capable of doing," said Verner.
Sitting in the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, Verner began to separate himself from being a recruit searching for a school and envisioned himself already a Bruin. "It was a different perspective watching it on Saturday. I watched them and realized I will be doing all of that, running back punts, making hits and picking off passes. It was different but cool."
Verner said his job now is to begin recruiting other prospects on the Bruins recruiting board and convince them to follow suit. "I know a couple of the committed guys like Sonny Tevaga and Chane Moline. But I know Terrence Austin and we've know each other a long time. I'm going to tell him it would be nice to play with him and be on the same team," Verner said.
Verner said that he is coming to UCLA likely as a defensive back and kick returner, but there is a slight chance he could play receiver.
In regard to whether he might re-consider his decision, Verner said, "I'm 100% committed to UCLA and now I can focus on the rest of my season."
He missed his first game last weekend with a tweaked ankle, not wanting to risk further injury with the meat of Mayfair's schedule coming up. Mayfair is 6-1 through Week 7.
The two-way athlete from Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair, Alterraun Verner, talks more about the commitment he made to UCLA Saturday, why he committed so quickly and what fellow prospects he'll start recruiting now...
Athlete wanted to be a Bruin; will start recruiting...