Ocala kicker Veron commits to USF for '10

23

July

Chris Veron, a punter and first-team all-state kicker at Ocala Forest, has accepted a scholarship offer to USF and is the Bulls' sixth oral commitment toward the 2010 recruiting class.

"It's a great academic school with a rising program. It's close to home, a great place in a great city," said Veron, 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, who visited USF on Monday and committed on Thursday.

Veron (pronounced vuh-RONE) said he worked out for coaches at Alabama and had interest from Miami and Florida State, but USF was the first school to offer him a scholarship. He said his commitment is a firm one.

"Definitely, I'm going to show my loyalty," he said. "If Florida or Miami come with scholarship offers, I'm still not going to change my mind."

Veron, whose parents are both from Argentina, was born in Hialeah and moved to Ocala four years ago. He's handled punts and kicks for Forest and has played on the varsity since his freshman year. He averaged 42 yards on punts last season and kicked a career-best 51-yard field goal against Lake Weir. He also had 55 of 62 kickoffs go for touchbacks, and was named as the first-team kicker on the all-state team for Class 4A.

Veron said he was offered a scholarship last week -- before USF kicker Maikon Bonani injured his back in a fall at Busch Gardens -- and hopes to compete for USF's starting punting job in 2010. The Bulls have a senior this fall in Delbert Alvarado, along with redshirt freshman Justin Brockhaus-Kann and walk-on Ilia Petrov.

"I'm good at both, but I'm more comfortable punting," Veron said. "I'm more consistent with punts, but I'm working on my technique on kicks. Whatever they need me to help with, I'm ready to help."

Veron joins quarterback Brion Carnes, running back Tiger Powell and offensive lineman Tony Kibler, as well as two junior college players, defensive end Claude Davis and offensive lineman Justin Green.

-- USF coach Jim Leavitt got his 1,000th follower on Twitter.com on Thursday. He currently has the second-largest following of the Big East coaches. West Virginia's Bill Stewart has a huge lead with 3,999 followers as I write this; Pitt's Dave Wannstedt has 769 and Louisville's Steve Kragthorpe has 355.

Oddly, Syracuse has taken down the Twitter page of coach Doug Marrone -- which had 400-plus followers -- because he was taking time off from Twitter over the summer. They're expected to re-launch his page as football season approaches ...

-- Minor clarification on USF's basketball schedule: That exhibition at Jacksonville is actually a closed scrimmage, not open to the public. Sorry to my readers in Jacksonville if I got you excited ...

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:49pm]

    

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