Dec. 6, 2009
Good day everyone,
That is all that needs to be said about my career at UCLA. This word exemplifies many feelings and emotions that have been running through my mind these last few days of my career.
I am sorry to say this will be the last Verner Views that I will be writing. I have so much to say but not enough room to say it, so this is mostly a quick farewell to UCLA. So before I express my final thoughts, I would like to say thank you to a few people that helped me get to UCLA and finish out my career the way I did it.
First of all, the foundation of my life is God. He has blessed me with the opportunity to achieve both on and off the field and forgave me of my sins to try to lead and live a life to eternal life. I would have to say thank you to my family. My parents, Robert and Vicki Verner, have been the cornerstone to my development as a man - the man that encompasses football skill set, moral values, hard-work, discipline, and a respect for others. My sisters, Robin and Shawn Verner, also convey this by being wonderful role models for me. They were the guiding example for me on what I should or should not do in life and i appreciate them for that. I have to definitely thank my girlfriend, Sina'e, for her constant support and love for me throughout this whole college journey. I would like to say thanks for your patience and virtuous attitude towards me, because I know football and school obligations gave us some struggles. I truly appreciate you and I am glad you stuck by my side and were there for me every step of the way.
I would like to say thanks to Darrick Davis, who has helped develop me into the cornerback I am today. I had never played the position until college and he worked with me since high school. I will forever be grateful. Along with Derrick, I am including Travis and Byron Jackson and their work with me. Another instrumental person in my development to become a better player has been Erich Nall, speed coach. He helped get my speed to a manageable level since my junior year in high school. He is a great coach and I have seen tremendous results with him. These are the people special to me that needed mentioning. If I have forgotten your name or didn't mention you, it doesn't mean you haven't been there for me, just that these people were the most instrumental for me.
After that note, four years have gone by way too fast for me as a UCLA Bruin. I remember the times when I used to watch the Bruins play and wearing the #1 UCLA jersey to high school and stuff to now, when I am leaving UCLA with an interception touchdown record and lasting memories to all the Bruin Nation. My experiences here have been top of the line and something I will cherish forever. From academics - competing against the top brains in the world in my math major was always fun - just walking around campus and seeing the variety of people and cultures on campus, it was beautiful to see. Through all this intermingling, you realize that everyone is basically the same and they have the same struggles as you. You can be an athlete, a pre-med student, or grad student - it didn't matter. Everyone is fighting for their education and that is what created so many bonds with people in all areas of UCLA life.
Having the pleasure of being the student representative for the library catalogue a while back to now being spotlighted on UCLA Big Moment spots are two others things that stand out. My time with this sector of UCLA has been difficult, however all the more amazing!
Football, man it's been the craziest roller coaster, but one of those that was worth the wait, but so short that you almost missed the thrills of it. Being in the Rose Bowl with our wonderful fans that were there from the beginning, to putting on the Blue and Gold was just simply amazing. I had the honor to be coached by DeWayne Walker for most of my career and finished up this year being coached by the great Carnell Lake! Many guys have helped me in numerous ways of playing the position. I appreciate their expertise on the field. I had a great time playing with my former killa bees and current ones -- Chris Horton, Rodney Van, Trey Brown, Dennis Keyes, and Bret Lockett to Tony Dye, Rahim Moore, Glenn Love, Courtney Viney, Aaron Hester, Sheldon Price, Andrew Abbott and everyone else. Each player is so good and made my job so much easier and helped contribute to my success. I will definitely miss all my teammates, I really love them all. The hard work and the grind I had to do with all of them makes them all special to me. They are all very talented and that's why I believe UCLA will be back at the top very soon and I can't wait to see that unfold.
Reflection of my last season here has been one for the ages. I recorded the most interceptions in any of my seasons. I had to battle through injuries majority of the year. Having the young buck, Sheldon Price, to teach and he responded well this year. We showed so much promise this season with our offensive explosion towards the end of the year, to the defense doing what it could do with Akeem Ayers creating havoc, Brian Price being the best defensive tackle in the country, having the best ball-hawk in the nation in Rahim Moore, to the Bosworths, who play with reckless abandonment, to the leader of the defense - Reggie Carter. I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to end my career with. This solidifies that I made a great decision in returning to the program.
I won't ever forget the walk from the buses to the Rose Bowl and seeing all the fans. You fans are so amazing to me and fueled me for every rose bowl game. You have never let me down and I appreciate that!!! I will miss just stepping out onto the field from the tunnel and seeing the same faces at the entrance. Everyone that has supported me throughout this four-year journey is really appreciated. From the letters, to facebook, twitter and everything - it is much appreciated.
In closing, I have lived such a blessed life. For that reason I have no regrets in my life. Everything has happened to me for a reason, to get to this point right now, to be writing to y'all today. Life is a precious thing and you start to realize how short it is as time proceeds forward. So cherish every moment of it. Breathe and just look around, because you never know when it might be gone. As we wait to see if we will be playing in a bowl game and with finals around the corner, my days are coming to a close and I still can't believe it.
Thanks again to everyone that has helped make this experience possible and I will leave you with one thing -- "If BETTER is possible, the good is not enough!"