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Jared Verse making noticeable first impression with work ethic and voice

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In the latest episode of the Rams' offseason docuseries Behind The Grind, head coach Sean McVay can be seen during the team's discussion about the 19th overall pick in the draft talking about their defense needing to add someone very vocal to the mix.

"We need a guy that has some (expletive) bark, that'll talk (expletive) to people to," McVay says to defensive coordinator Chris Shula in the Rams' war room.

Ask anyone who has attended, or participated, in one of Los Angeles' OTA practices this spring, and they'll confirm first-round pick and outside linebacker Jared Verse makes his voice heard.

But it's not just that voice that's making an impression on teammates – it's his work ethic, too.

"If you've been here so far, he's just handling it like a pro," outside linebacker Byron Young said on last week's OTAs recap show. "I'm talking about, his get-off is insane rushing the passer. Every day, just showing up, listening, being accountable. Me being a vet and him being my youngin', and me just talking to him, he's listening, he's just a guy that wants to learn every day that I talk to him. That's what I love about him. He's definitely hungry. He's definitely one of the guys."

If it isn't already apparent from Verse's well-documented background and rise as a player, both of these things come from an authentic place.

He was a lightly recruited prospect who had to go the junior college route, and even at that level, had to put in extra work in order to look the part. When COVID shut everything down, Verse's dad bought him equipment so that he could lift weights, and he worked out so often on that set, he returned to Albany the fall of his second season weighing around 245-250 pounds. For context, he was 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds as a senior in high school.

He also worked for Amazon and DoorDash to make ends meet while at Albany.

Verse spoke about that underdog mentality when he was drafted, and it's part of the reason why he's still as vocal as he is on the field.

"I mean, it just comes from me always being doubted, and I really like to hear my voice. I want others to hear it, I want to be loud," Verse told "I really just like people to hear me. (Well), not even like to hear me, but it gets me more involved. When other people hear you talking, it gets them more involved, and just gives me like a lot more energy. It gives those around me a lot more energy, especially when we're out there making plays. It just gets everybody hyped up and it just hypes me up. It's more of a mental thing than anything."

As for the work ethic that has made a strong first impression, Verse credits that to his upbringing.

"It's definitely both my parents," Verse said. "We didn't have it always have a great, but they always did everything they could to be there for us, but at the same time handle business. My dad, after he finished in the military, he was an engineer, he worked nights, and my mom worked during the day, so whenever they had time, they'd get off, go handle if I had this game or my little sister has that recital, this or that. So they were always there. Seeing how much work they put into me growing up, making sure they were always there, I have to do something amazing just to make their sacrifices pay off."

The saying goes that actions speak louder than words.

For Verse, his teammates, coaches, and opponents will be able to see and hear both equally well.

"That's who I am," Verse said. "I'm not going to shy away from hiding who I am. This is who I am. I talk a lot. I'm loud. I'm vocal. You gonna hear me. I make a play, you gonna see me hyped up. That's just who I am. I can't hide it. I'm not gonna pull back from anybody."

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