Verner's Views - Looking Back at His Last Fall Camp

Aug. 28, 2009

Good day everyone.

Camp is officially over!

I have completed my last fall camp ever at UCLA and it feels pretty GOOD! I got through basically healthy and ready to go for the season opener. Last week, we held our annual scrimmage at Drake Stadium and it went well. We had some explosive performances by many people. Special `Shout Outs' go to the whole defense - I think we played very well. But the select few I would like to mention include Damien Thigpen, a freshman who electrified the crowd with his punt return for a touchdown, had a big kickoff return and also had several plays on which he broke tackles and had nice runs. I am very impressed with this guy and he is one to look for in several aspects of the game.

The other big Shout Out goes to my boy Courtney Viney aka 'Flea'. That is what he was during the scrimmage, just a bother to the offense all day. He was making every tackle that was presented to him, was solid in coverage and he also had a 90+ punt return for a TD. So he impressed me very much. I also got to speak to his father, Tyrone, about how the defensive backs as a unit can get better. It is always good to hear an outside perspective on things with the team to make you a better player, which in turns makes the team better. Viney's dad gave me some insight on that. Back to the scrimmage, of course you had Brian Price and Reggie Carter doing what they always do - making big plays.

So with football, we are getting into the stages of game planning for SDSU. They are going to be a very tough team. I am excited to get under way to check their receivers out and see what they bring to the table. We will be extensively in game week mode on by Sunday. Right now, the team and I are recuperating from a tough camp, so we can be fresh for this upcoming battle.

During camp, there was not much room for social time. But I was able to go home and spend time with the family and girlfriend. I spent Saturday night with my girl and her family, getting to chat and talk about the scrimmage, which her family attended with my family, which made me happy. So, special thanks to the Salter Family and children. Then we got on the Dominoes battle with them, my girl Sina'e and her brother Germael. Once again I was the victor and I am still riding a big win streak. So if you are ready, come challenge!

On Sunday, I was able to be with my family for a bit before I had to come back to camp. I am excited for this weekend because we have some days off and I can spend some good time with them before I start the season and have to focus in on each week's opponent. I will be seeing Final Destination Friday in 3D! I am looking forward to that.

Last night, I was able to attend our annual kickoff dinner where we got to meet supporters of the UCLA tradition. I had the opportunity to mingle with people and answer questions. I had one of my best dinners and enjoyed a program that represents the kickoff to the season. I would like to say thank you to all who attended that event and say that our team appreciates the support. It was beautiful seeing the true UCLA family out there last night. It makes me want to please them even more for enduring the rough times and to give them something to be even more proud about!

All in all, it was a successful camp and I am just overjoyed about the chance to play at this great university for one last year. I'm just full of adrenaline and anxiousness. This is going to be a real special year, and it starts in one week!! Time to get your popcorn ready and enjoy the show!!

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