Jason Verrett received little attention from college recruiters coming out of Rodriguez High, but has certainly turned heads during his junior season at Texas Christian.
Within the last 10 days, the cornerback was named to the All-Big 12 first team and selected as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year by the San Antonio Express-News. He was also picked as a second-team All-American by the Water Camp Football Foundation, and third-team All-American by the Associated Press.
Verrett, who transferred from Santa Rosa Junior College, leads the Big 12 with six interceptions, the most by a Horned Frog since 2002, and 20 passes defended. He’s the only player in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both categories.
Texas Christian faces Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 29.
The season continues for Quincy Forte (Vacaville) and Eastern Washington, which rolled past Illinois State 51-35 in the FCS quarterfinals. Forte rushed seven times for 116 yards with a long of 57. The Eagles (11-2) host Sam Houston State in the semifinals on Saturday.
West Texas A&M (12-3) saw its Cinderella season end as the Buffaloes were smoked by Winston-Salem State 41-18 in the Division II semifinals. Deone Bondurant (Fairfield, Solano) had one tackle in a losing cause.
Ben Gabbard (Vacaville) swam the third leg for the fifth-place men’s 18+ 200-yard medley relay team for the Merchant Marine Academy in a 153-102 win over Manhattan.
James Lake (Fairfield) poured in a game-high 19 points to help Adams State (5-0, 3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) stay unbeaten with an 82-76 win over Fort Lewis.
At the other end of the spectrum, Pacific Union (0-7) remained winless with a 72-42 loss to Santa Clara despite 10 points, three rebounds and two assists from Marcus Carter (Solano).
John Dickson (Fairfield) netted a team-high 16 points and added three rebounds for Sacramento State (5-3) in a 62-57 loss to San Jose State.
Coming off the bench, Patrick Greene had 11 points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes as Menlo fell 89-43 to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Malik Dunbar (Fairfield resident) contributed four points, three rebounds and three blocks for the Oaks (2-8).
In back-to-back games for San Francisco State against Sonoma State, Robbie Herndon (Fairfield resident) had one point, one assist and one steal in a 72-70 victory and eight points, six rebounds and a steal in a 63-49 triumph.
Idaho (3-5) split games last week as Mike McChristian (Wood) had two points, seven rebounds and two assists in an 81-79 overtime win over Eastern Washington and three points, four rebounds and two assists in a 64-60 loss to UTEP.
Bennie Murray (Wood) tied the team high with 15 points and added six rebounds and three assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep Chaminade from dropping an 87-78 Pacific West Conference decision to Dixie State. The Silverswords (3-5, 0-2) then fell 75-64 to Grand Canyon with Murray getting 11 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds.
Webster (4-4) lost to Washington University 72-49 and Elmhurst 87-70 with Roman Robinson (Rodriguez) tying for the team high with 10 points in the former and getting 17 points and three rebounds in the latter.
San Diego State blew a 31-23 halftime lead in falling 59-58 to Washington with Erimma Amarikwa contributing six points and six rebounds, while Khristina Hunter had one rebound and one steal. The Aztecs (5-3) bounced back by slipping past San Diego 58-54 as Amarikwa had four points and four rebounds and Hunter had four rebounds and a block.
Holy Names suffered its first loss in PacWest play with a 94-89 loss to Academy of Art. Renique Fitzpatrick (Armijo) amassed 16 points, eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals for the Hawks (2-3, 1-1), while Amnesty Bradley (Fairfield) had one rebound and two assists.
Nebraska-Kearney, coached by former Solano Community College assistant Kevin Chaney, split its first two Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association games by bouncing Lincoln 79-62 and losing to Northwest Missouri State 67-56. Ivy Jones (Solano) had six points, four rebounds and three assists in the former, 10 points and five steals in the latter for the Lopers (3-5, 1-1).
Last week was a roller coaster ride for Denisha Lundy (Vanden) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (2-6, 1-3 California Collegiate Athletic Association). The former Viking had just two assists in a 72-37 loss to Cal Baptist before stepping up with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a team-high 36 minutes in an 80-77 win over Cal State Los Angeles.
Jazmine Miller (Vanden) sank two free throws with six seconds left to give Chico State (6-0) a four-point lead in an eventual 75-74 win over Western Washington in the first round of the Coslet Classic CCAA/GNAC Challenge. She finished with 12 points, four rebounds and two assists before rolling up 17 points, nine assists, two steals and two rebounds in an 89-77 title game win over Seattle Pacific.
Eastern Nazarene (5-2) rolled past Pine Manor 67-55 as Presley Neufeld (Solano) had nine assists, eight points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Goli Tavassoli (Vanden, Solano) netted a team-high 15 points and added two assists as Waldorf (8-6, 0-2 Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference) fell 74-69 to College of the Ozarks in overtime. It was the second straight game between the two teams with the Warriors losing the first outing 65-47 as Tavassoli had four points, four rebounds and three assists, with Destinee Sinegal-Smith (Fairfield, Solano) also seeing action.
Earlier, Waldorf got by Martin Luther 69-62 with Tavassoli contributing six assists and two rebounds.
Tough times continue for Lourdes, coached by former Fairfield standout Zareth Gray, as the Gray Wolves (3-9, 1-5 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference) lost to Aquinas 75-69 and Concordia (Mich.) 91-68.
Our Lady of the Lakes (9-0, 4-0 Red River Athletic Conference), coached by former Vacaville and Vacaville Christian coach Chris Minner, kept rolling by destroying Texas Wesleyan 104-80 and Huston-Tillotson 85-55.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.