Junior to Watch: WR/OLB Anthony Vernaglia

One of the best two-way prospects on the west coast for the upcoming season is Anthony Vernaglia from Orange Lutheran High School in Orange, California. WeAreSC.com caught up with Anthony recently and he had the following update for us…

When a Pac Ten head coach can look a recruit straight in the eye and tell him he does not know if he likes him better on offense or defense, one knows that recruit is a player.  Anthony Vernaglia is equally adept at either wide receiver or outside linebacker.  He has got ideal size for either, currently standing 6'4", weighing 215 pounds, and running a 4.6 forty.  He has tremendous upside with lots of room to grow.  Anthony also benches 300 pounds and has a 38" vertical.  He was All-League and his teams Co-MVP last fall racking up 8 sacks, numerous tackles, and lots of caused fumbles/fumble recoveries from his outside linebacker spot.  Vernaglia also had 48 receptions for 800 yards and 15 touchdowns playing wide receiver in an option offense.  His strengths at wide receiver are his hands, speed, and size.  On defense he is quick to the ball with a Matt Grootogoed football sense.  He also runs the anchor leg for the 4 x 100 relay at Orange Lutheran during their track and field season.


As one could guess, there are several big-time schools trying to secure Anthony's commitment.  The five that stand out right now are USC, Notre Dame, Virginia, Penn State, and Texas.  Virginia has offered, and the other four schools are certain to follow.  He plans on taking official trips to those five schools even though he has already unofficially visited Virginia, and plans to unofficially visit Penn State next week.  Penn State would be a natural program in Vernaglia's top five as his father Kip played wide receiver for Joe Paterno during his college football career.  Ironically, Penn State alumnus Joe Jurevicous of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the player who Anthony compared his style of play to on offense.  Fellow Buc John Lynch is the defensive player he felt he most likely resembled.  Anthony has visited one of USC's spring practices and plans on attending the USC Nike Camp on April 6th.


As far as USC in particular, Anthony likes the tradition, team, the location close to home, and the academics.  Currently he has a 4.01 GPA and an SAT of over 1200.  Obviously qualifying is not an issue.  In fact, Vernaglia would like to major in Pre-Medicine in college.  USC running backs coach Kennedy Pola is handling Vernaglia's recruitment.  When asked whom the best player was he had gone up against, Anthony quickly answered Whitney Lewis.  He is an avid snowboarding and wakeboarding fan.  Finally, Anthony wanted to be sure to mention how thankful he was to the great Orange Lutheran coaches for all their help and support.

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