A west coast super-prospect on Virginia’s radar is Lutheran (Orange County, CA) wide receiver/linebacker Anthony Vernaglia . Vernaglia is close to 6-4, weighs 220 pounds, and can run the 40 yard dash in 4.55 seconds.
Equally adept on both sides of the ball, Vernaglia is being recruited by some schools as a wide receiver and by some as an outside linebacker prospect. According to Lutheran head coach Jim Kunau, his star prospect could play either side of the ball and still be successful.
“Anthony has a great combination of size and speed,” said Kunau. “He’s really the complete package. About half the schools recruiting him want him as a wide receiver and half as a linebacker.
“His greatest asset as a football player is his great instincts. He has a feel for the ball. He’s the kind of player that can sack the quarterback, strip the ball, and then look for the ball in one motion. He’s so instinctive. He makes plays that cannot be taught.”
Virginia, who has officially offered Vernaglia a scholarship, likes him as a wide receiver. Vernaglia also likes the Cavaliers, who appear to be in good shape with the blue chip prospect.
“He’s seriously looking at Virginia,” said Kunau. “I would say they are in his top two or three right now. He also likes USC, Penn State – where his father Kip played football, and possibly UCLA. Coach Groh and Coach Golden have done an excellent job recruiting him. We sent them film around January or February, and they were quick to act on it.”
Vernaglia has official offers from all four favorites and will likely receive an offer from Notre Dame in the near future. He also has offers from Stanford, California, Purdue, and Arizona State
“I’m about 95 percent sure that Notre Dame will offer him,” said Kunau. “They received film on him, and immediately called to say he was one of the best outside linebacker prospects they have seen on film this year. If they offer, they would be right there with his other favorites.”
As a junior, Vernaglia made 48 receptions for over 800 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on offense. He made 70 tackles and had 12 sacks as a linebacker. Vernaglia is also an excellent student who carries a 4.0 grade point average and scored a 1200 on his SAT’s.
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