|School:||Orange Coast, Ca. (Lutheran HS)|
It appears that there is no question Orange, Ca. (Lutheran HS) athlete Anthony Vernaglia will play his college football somewhere east of California. The only question that remains is, 'how far east will Anthony go?'
Anthony has narrowed his decision down to three teams--Penn State, Notre Dame, and Virginia. But until recently, this was a two horse race between the Cavaliers and the Fighting Irish. How did the Nittany Lions sneak back in?
"Coach Tom Bradley, the defensive coordinator. He and my dad are good friends, so we've just been talking. I've been calling him and up and we've been chatting. I can't say no to the program," admitted Anthony. "They have this position on defense--this free safety position--that I'm just in love with. It's just so me."
"Remember (former Nittany Lion) Shawn Mayer, he played it last year. It's kind of a strong free safety. He plays out in space, blitzes a lot, makes plays."
Do the the Irish and Cavs still hold the edge a little because Anthony's liked them for longer?
"They're on the same plain, same level," admitted Anthony, who keeps in close contact with Coach Bradley, Coach Kent Baer of Notre Dame, and Coach Al Golden of Virginia.
Why, in previous interviews, was he listing Notre Dame and Virginia, but not Penn State?
"Everyone was just freaking out because I got an offer from Notre Dame. So I just kind of bought into the hype for a little bit. So now things are just starting to settle down," Anthony admitted, who's being recruited as an outside linebacker.
And how about Virginia?
"I don't know, I think I just got all excited about the new ACC. It's a heck of a conference. Virginia is pretty much the same as Notre Dame, just without the fame, the TV contract, and the history."
Where are the Cavaliers hoping he lines up when he gets to Charlottsville?
"Offense," stated Anthony, who admitted that was a 100% lock. "I figure things can flip at the drop of a hat. It's never really certain where you're going to play. I figure I love offense and I'm comfortable on offense. If I play defense--great. As long as I get on the field, I'm cool."
So Anthony has no preference if he plays offense or defense in college?
"Oh no. I'm just kind of fired up to play defense because we're getting into it on my high school team. We're just getting back into the defensive thing. I forgot how much fun it was," said Anthony, who has spent his summer playing wide receiver at college camps and 7-on-7 tournaments.
Anthony does not have any official visits or unofficial visits currently planned. In fact the only official visit Anthony will take is to the school he chooses because he plans to verbally commit in person to the coaching staff.
When does Anthony hope to have his decision made?
"Before the season starts on September 13th," Anthony said confidently.
(Interview by Steve Curry)