Former NFL All-Pro and Bruin All-American standout Carnell Lake has concluded his first season on the staff and coaches the secondary (cornerbacks) along with Tim Hundley. This season, senior Alterraun Verner ranked second in the Pac-10 with five interceptions, the lone veteran in a group of young cornerbacks. Verner was named first-team All-America by Rivals.com and third-team All-America by Associated Press.
Lake played on four straight bowl-winning teams at UCLA from 1985-88 and went on to enjoy a 12-year career as a player in the NFL with the Steelers, Jaguars and Ravens.
Lake was a three-year (1986-88) starting outside linebacker at UCLA and excelled both on the field and in the classroom. As a senior in 1988, UCLA was 10-2 and Lake earned first-team All-America and All-Pac-10 honors on the field while making 78 tackles, including 12.5 for losses. He was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and Lombardi Trophy. Off the field, he earned a National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete award.
As a junior in 1987, UCLA also went 10-2 and Lake led the Pac-10 with 13.0 sacks, a UCLA school record total at the time, and earned first-team All-Pac-10 and second-team All-America acclaim.
During his four-year career, he made 45.5 tackles for loss, the No. 1 total in school history, and 25.5 sacks - No. 4 on that UCLA career chart. UCLA compiled a record of 37-9-2 during Lake's career and won all four bowl games (Rose, Freedom, Aloha, Cotton) in which he played.
Following his Bruin career, Lake was a second-round selection by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1989 NFL Draft (no. 34 selection overall). He went on to play 12 seasons in the National Football League as a standout strong safety and cornerback, the first 10 with the Steelers plus one-each with Jacksonville (1999, plus 2000 on injured reserve) and Baltimore (2001). While with the Steelers, he played in five Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in the 1997 season and second-team honors in four other seasons. He also played in Super Bowl XXX against the Dallas Cowboys.
In Lake's first 11 seasons in the NFL, he missed just six regular-season games while starting all 170 games in which he played. Overall, he made 819 tackles, including 25 sacks, forced 15 fumbles and recovered 17, and made 16 interceptions. He scored five touchdowns, three on interceptions and two on fumble returns.
During his professional career, he played for four head coaches who each have led their teams to victory in a Super Bowl - Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, Tom Coughlin, Brian Billick. While at Pittsburgh, the Steelers advanced to the NFL playoffs six times --- 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and1997. Pittsburgh earned AFC Central titles in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The Steelers captured the AFC title in 1995. When he was with the Jaguars, Jacksonville won the AFC Central title in 1999 and lost in the AFC title game.
Prior to attending UCLA, Lake played football at Culver City, CA High School where he was a running back and linebacker. At one point in his senior prep season, Lake led the state in rushing after gaining 956 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns in four-and-one half games. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.
Since his retirement from professional football following the 2001 season, Lake has worked in private business. He and his wife, Monica, have three children. He earned his degree from UCLA in 1993.