As last football season progressed and TCU's profile grew nationwide, Patterson and his staff took the opportunity to gather in some out-of-state recruits. Commits 17 and 18 came from Oklahoma: Jamelle Naff of Del City and Davion Pierson of Oklahoma City, but #20 comes to Fort Worth from Northern California. Santa Rosa Junior College corner Jason Verrett may well end up being one of Patterson's classic needle in the haystack recruiting finds.
Verrett, who is listed at 5'10" 180lbs and has been clocked with a 4.38 forty, has never lacked athleticism. As a senior at Rodriguez High in Fairfield, California in 2008, he had over 1,000 total yards of offense and 13 total TDs to go along with 25 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense to help lead his team to a 9-3 overall record. Despite all of this, he was overlooked by DI recruiters and enrolled at Santa Rosa.
Once he got to SRJC in the fall of 2009, he had his sights set on racking up yardage on offense in hopes of attracting recruiters. Instead, defensive coordinator Lenny Wagner (who's linebacker coach when he played at Sonoma State was none other than GP himself) convinced Verrett that he had more of a future on the other side of the ball. In order to maximize his future potential as a DI corner, Verrett grey-shirted the 2009 season to focus on learning the position and to allow himself an extra year of eligibility once he transferred out of SRJC. For more on Verrett's story, check out this story from the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat- it's a good read.
I've searched and searched, but I cannot find Verrett's 2010 freshman season stats online. I can tell you that he played well enough to be named 1st Team All Conference in the Nor-Cal Conference even after missing two games to injury. Additionally, Rivals lists him as the #35 overall JUCO prospect in the country.
Verrett's list of offers other than TCU isn't going to knock your socks off, but he did get one from another school that has succeeded in uncovering recruiting gems in hard to find places just about as much as the Frogs- Boise State. He's already signed his letter of intent and enrolled at TCU, so he will be participating in offseason conditioning work and spring practice with the Frogs. And that greyshirt year at SRJC will pay off with an extra year of eligibility in Fort Worth: instead of the usual two years of a JUCO transfer, he'll have three years of eligibility. So he'll be a sophomore next fall and can still redshirt if he needs to for any reason.
With his build, incredible speed, path from offense to defense and from JUCO to TCU, Verrett's story reminds me of that of former Frog Drew Coleman- who starred as a WR at Trinity Valley CC before arriving in Fort Worth. Given that Coleman was an all-conference corner at TCU and has now been drawing an NFL paycheck for five years, I'd say that's a comparison both Verrett and Frog fans can live with.
And for dessert, here's his high school highlight film: