Committed Athlete Takes His Visit

Alterraun Verner, the 5-11, 180-pound athlete from Mayfair High, who is committed to UCLA, took his official visit last weekend. He talked about the trip and how the coaches gave him some hints as to how he'd be used...

Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair athlete Alterraun Verner (6-0, 175)l, who committed in October to UCLA, took his official trip last weekend to Westwood.

"It was very nice," said Verner. "I had a great time with the players and the coaches. Aaron Ware was my host and he got me set up with Coach (Gary) DeLoach where we talked about how they would use me in the defense."

That meeting gave Verner a sneak peak at where the UCLA staff sees him playing, having offered him a scholarship originally as an athlete. "The coaches said that they still may look at me as a receiver, but right now, the plan is for me to come in as a cornerback. The possibility of both ways is up in the air though," said Verner.

Should conerback be the position where he sticks, Verner said it wouldn't be a major adjustment for him, despite playing primarily free safety for Mayfair this past year. Verner said, "I played some corner and did it at some of the camps too. I'm fine coming in at any position that gets me on the field the fastest, whether its corner or receiver."

Verner said the highlight for him was spending time with several of the current Bruins on the rosters, including Chris Horton, Joe Cowan, Pat Cowan, John Hale, Kahlil Bell, and Ben Olson. He also talked with the other incoming recruits, some he'd met at the Rose Bowl during games this fall.

"I spent pretty much the whole weekend with Coach (Karl) Dorrell as well as Coach DeLoach and I really like the coaching staff at UCLA," said Verner. "They made me feel real comfortable."

An excellent student, Verner was impressed with the academic support that UCLA has to offer. "I really like the program that they have with the mentors and tutors for athletes, especially for freshmen. I'm undecided on a major right now, but I know I'll have good options. I'm thinking about the medical field, computers or engineering as my major," Verner said.

Verner said he will graduate in June, so he will be a frequent observer at Spaulding Field during spring practice, then will join the summer program in hopes of playing early.

"I know there is a good possibility of early playing time and it comes down to how much I want it. But I have the opportunity. We've discussed the possibility that I'll get some chances to return some kicks too," said Verner.

A selection to the CaliFlorida roster, Verner was also named his league player of the year and an all-CIF selection as well as the City of Lakewood Athlete of the Year.

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