Former Albany University Defense Leader Jared Verse and his family have set up some sort of war room in his Peoria, Arizona home to handle key Division I offers that have come in since Verse November 30th, the NCAA transfer portal has entered.
Starting with his mother Jannienne, it started in the dining room and has spread to other areas of the house.
“I’ve shown it to a few of my friends and they can’t believe it,” said Verse on Thursday. “It’s like a bunch of posters on the wall, I was in touch with every team I spoke to. Most of our conversations, how they went, what their record was last year, every bowl game they’ve been to since 2000. It’s very detailed and everything is like that. Players who switch (to each school) where they come from, players who drop out wherever they go. “
The decision-making process for Verse and his family is drawing to a close. He said he plans to make up his mind in the next day or two and announce it shortly afterwards. He plans to enroll in his new school this month, in time for spring football to start.
Verse has made a remarkable transformation from an easily-recruited high school tight end that weighed just 205 pounds to a 6-foot-4,247 pound defensive end strength recently named the No. 2 by The Athletic of the available candidates was classified in the transfer portal.
Verse, a newbie to Redshirt, had 13 ½ sacks in 15 career games at UAlbany. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year for the Colonial Athletic Association for the spring 2021 season and was inducted into the league’s first team this fall.
Verse has officially visited Syracuse, Houston, Florida State, and Tennessee. He also has offerings from Texas, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, USC, Miami, Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, West Virginia, and others.
With fans from various schools persuading him, Verse said he had to leave social media for a moment to clear his head, as the attention he received was “overwhelming” at first.
“You know it was a shock,” said Verse. “Not such a big shock where I was overwhelmed, but a pretty good shock where a little more than expected, but in a good way. Yes, it was very flattering to know that I have reached a level where all of these schools are very interested in me. It gave me a lot more confidence to know that these schools see something in me and see what I can do and how I can help them. “
He said he did not plan to take advantage of the NCAA’s fifth and final official visit, and suggested picking a school that he has not yet attended.
“I might have wanted to make a decision a week ago, but the schools kept coming up with it,” said Verse. “So it’s either a leap of faith to go to a new school or I just make a decision based on the information I have.”
Out of respect for the coaches who recruit him, Verse declined to publish a list of his finalists.
“I still make decisions,” he said. “I feel like I have a good internal list of two or three who will be my final decisions and so on, but I want to get to a point the next day or so where I can be sure of my decision . “
Verse gave a clear idea of what he is looking for in a new school.
“The coaches are definitely a big factor,” he said. “You can’t play a good ball if you don’t feel comfortable there. The facilities are definitely important, but most of the schools that are interested in me have larger facilities. They are all D1 schools, they all have high end facilities, not too much of a problem. My teammates who make sure I have a good connection with them before I go anywhere. I think the most important factor is what I can do to help the program and what they can do for me. Can they make me a better player and can I help this program take it to the next level to reach the national championship. Not just a bowl game, but one step further. “
Verse sounded confident that he could make the leap from FCS to playing against senior offensive linemen.
“I’m not a finished product at all,” he said. “I still have a lot to do. I can be bigger. I can get stronger. I’m far from the fastest that I can be. I feel like a lot of schools see they can develop this and make me an overwhelming force at the FBS level that will be hard to stop me. Even if they throw me doubles or triples, it will help my teammates. “
Verse said he would not be at this point without the start he would get at UAlbany with the help of Defensive Line Coach Bill Nesselt, who recently moved to Special Teams Coordinator and External Linebacker Coach.
“I think that has helped me beyond my belief,” he said. “I never really played D-End when I got out of high school. I was a close end. Coach Nesselt sat me down, taught me everything I know about D-End, every movement I know, every technique I know, every speed movement, every force movement, how to stop the run. Coach Nesselt taught me everything. I owe everything to him, the basis of my abilities. “