Three Freshmen Honored by CollegeFootballNews.com
Dec. 12, 2006
Three members of the UCLA football team have seen selected to the 2006 CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-America squad.
True freshman cornerback Alterraun Verner was a first-team selection while redshirt freshman linebacker Reggie Carter and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Aleksey Lanis were named to the second team.
Verner has been selected a first-team Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com, second-team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News, Scout.com and Rivals.com and first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman by The Sporting News. The youngster made his Bruin debut a special one. Verner played extensively in UCLA's nickel and dime packages and was credited with two solo tackles. More importantly, he caused two turnovers. With 2:16 remaining in the second quarter, he stepped in front of a Utah pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to give the Bruins the lead for good, 14-7. In the fourth quarter, he caused a fumble after a Ute reception, recovered it and advanced it 18 yards.His interception return for a touchdown was the first by a UCLA true freshman since 1989, when Carlton Gray returned one 65 yards versus Washington.
At Washington, he led the team with nine tackles (four solos), including 0.5 for loss, off the bench. He made one solo tackle against Stanford. In the win over Arizona, he made four solo tackles. In the fourth quarter, he picked off a pass and returned it 89 yards for his second touchdown of the year. He is the sixth Bruin and the first freshman to score two touchdowns on interceptions in the same year. His return was the longest by a Bruin since Nov. 12, 1994, when Abdul McCullough scored on a 98-yard return versus Arizona State. At Oregon, he made his first start (UCLA was in a nickel package) and responded with seven tackles (five solos) and also broke up a pass. At Notre Dame, he made six tackles (five solos) off the bench. He made three tackles (two solos) versus Washington State. At California, he made six tackles, including three solos. He made two stops (one solo) and broke up a pass in the win over Oregon State. At Arizona State, he made four solo tackles and broke up one pass. Against USC, he made four tackles (one solo), including one for loss, combining with Christian Taylor on a fourth-down run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
On the year, he is fifth on the squad with 50 tackles. He ranks second (tied) on the team and tied for 18th in the Pac-10 with his average of 0.17 interceptions per game. He was co-winner of UCLA's John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year.
Carter has earned first-team Freshman All-America acclaim from Rivals.com, second-team Freshman All-America acclaim by CollegeFootballNews.com and Scout.com and third-team Freshman All-America and Pac-10 All-Freshman acclaim by the Sporting News. He saw his first action as a Bruin when he started the Utah game. He was credited with one solo tackle when he was on the field (UCLA played nickel and dime packages much of the game against Utah's spread offense). He added one tackle assist against Rice as a starter. At Washington, he started and made four tackles (two solos). Against Stanford, he recorded five tackles (four solos). In the win over Arizona, he made three tackles (two solos), including 0.5 sacks. At Oregon, he came off the bench and had three tackle assists. At Notre Dame, he had four tackle assists, including 0.5 for loss. Against Washington State, he made four tackles (three solos), including two for loss. At California, he made six tackles (two solos), including 0.5 for loss. Against Oregon State, he made three tackles (two solos). At Arizona State, he made a career-high seven tackles (four solos). Against USC, he made three tackles (one solo), including one for loss. On the year, Carter has started 11 games and has made 44 total tackles, tied for sixth on the squad.
Lanis has been named second-team Pac-10 All-Academic. He was selected second-team Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com and Scout.com and has also been selected to the Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman team and was Freshman All-America honorable mention. Lanis was co-winner of UCLA's John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year. He has started every game this season. He played virtually the entire contest against Utah. He also started and played the whole first half versus Rice, but did not play in the second half due to tightness in his knee. He played the entire game at Washington and all but the final series versus Stanford and Arizona. He missed the second half of the Oregon game due to knee and ankle problems. He returned and played the entire game in the last six contests of the season.