Local Prospect Gets Hot

Alterraun Verner, the 6-0, 175-pound athlete from Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair, has started off his senior season very hot, and he's getting the attention of more programs, including some Pac-10ers...

One of the hottest players in Southern California through the first month of the season has been Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair two-way threat Alterraun Verner (6-0, 175).

The receiver/defensive back has put up some solid numbers during the Monsoons' 3-1 start.

In four games, he has 22 receptions for 486 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, while recording 38 tackles and three interceptions.

Meanwhile, on the recruiting trail, Verner is holding five scholarship offers, from Wyoming, Boston College, Oregon and Boise State, as well as from UC Davis. But he says he's getting calls from quite a few other schools, too.

"I've been called by UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Vanderbilt, Princeton, Washington, Mississippi State and Ohio State," said Verner, who was at UCLA's game against Washington over the weekend.

Verner, who is being recruited by Bruins' tight end coach Jon Embree, said he is pretty wide open, but that Cal, UCLA, Boise State, Oregon and Wyoming currently stood atop the list.

"I'm trying to see what other schools may show some interest in me. There is a part of me that's frustrated that I only have a couple of offers, but then there are guys who don't have any offers yet." Verner said.

Verner plans to take all of his official visits and then make a decision. The other decision he'll have to make is what side of the ball he'll play on. He said: "There are aspects of both sides that I like. I don't have a preference for either side of the ball. I like receiver because I like the ball in my hands, but I like defense because I like to make plays and stop guys. Honestly, I'll play where the coaches put me."

One of the knocks on Verner previously has been his speed. Last spring he ran the 40 in the 4.7 to 4.8 range at various camps and combines (including UCLA's one-day camp), but he says he's worked on it, and gotten his forty down to a 4.5. He's also only 16 years old and won't turn 17 until right around graduation.

Academically, Verner is as solid as they come, holding a 4.15 GPA and a 1740 on the new SAT.

"Some people say that academics are important for them in choosing a school, but it really is for me. The academics of a school will play a big role in where I decide to go," Verner said.

In the season opener, Verner had 156 yards and three touchdowns, plus eight tackles and four pass break-ups. He then followed it with three catches for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns (one a 97-yard kickoff return), along with 15 tackles and an interception, in his second game of the season.

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