February 1, 2015. Super Bowl XLIX. It was the National Football League’s battle of the best…the New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. After tying at the half, the Patriots rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter with nearly two minutes left. A game saving interception with 26 seconds to spare secured the title and the New England Patriots were crowned Super Bowl XLIX Champions.
Suited up and donning the #34 for the New England Patriots, Valencia High School graduate Shane Vereen took the field in what would be a historical game. Starting at running back, the 5’10” Vereen rushed four times for 13 yards and caught a game-high 11 passes for 64 yards, making it the most by a running back in Super Bowl history, tying with Dan Ross, Jerry Rice, Deion Branch and Wes Walker for the second most by any player in Super Bowl history. The championship title also earned Shane a spot in SCV history as the first-ever high school graduate to win a Super Bowl.
Born in 1989, Shane grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and graduated in 2007 from Valencia High School. Coming from an athletic family, his mother Venita played tennis for the UNLV Rebels, while his father Henry, was a former wide receiver for UNLV. Henry also played in the NFL and was drafted in the ninth round in 1979 by Tampa Bay. Shane’s younger brother Brock, just finished up his rookie season as a safety for the Chicago Bears.
During Shane’s three-year varsity career at Valencia High, the running back combined for over 6,000 rushing and receiving yards with 89 touchdowns. Not only was he a stellar athlete on the football field, he was one of Southern California’s top sprinters, a member of the basketball team all while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
After high school, Vereen attended Cal, wearing #34 for the Golden Bears. At Cal, he started 19 of 38 games and rushed for 2,834 yards, with a total of 29 touchdowns. He set many records at Cal, and in three and a half years, Shane graduated with a degree in Media Studies before getting drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots in 2011.
He started his rookie season playing five games, with his first game against the Oakland Raiders on October 2. The following two seasons, Shane increased his playing time, as well as his yards rushing. It wasn’t until 2014 when he gained notoriety leading the team in rushing as well as setting new career highs. Starting in all 16 of New England’s regular season games, Shane made a name for himself on the field.
Last June, Shane conducted a football camp for young players to learn the ropes from the professionals. He set up Shane Vereen Playmakers Football Camp at Valencia High School. Kids ages six to 13 were able to learn from the best for a day of fun and skills training. Proceeds from the camp directly benefitted Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a cause near and dear to Shane as his neighbor died at the young age of 19 after battling cancer.
On Thursday, March 26, Shane will be returning to his hometown to accept the SCV Chamber of Commerce’s invitation as guest speaker. The Super Bowl champion will be honored at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia and Mayor Marsha McLean will present Shane the key to the city. ABC7 Eyewitness News Sports Anchor and Reporter, Curt Sandoval will be the master of ceremonies for the event, and a portion of the event proceeds will be donated to Shane Vereen’s Playmaker Camp which will benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
For more information on Shane Vereen or the New England Patriots, visit www.patriots.com. For information about Shane Vereen Playmakers Football Camp, visit www.shane-vereen-little-grinders-football-camp.sportssignup.com.