Indianapolis – Tennessee safety Eric Berry, of Creekside High, is hoping to be the No. 1 player selected in the NFL draft.
Here’s part of his interview at the NFL scouting combine:
Q: Are you the most talented overall player in this draft? Think there is any chance you can jump into that No. 1 spot?
A: It is a goal, but at the end of the day it is on the GMs and the guys that make the decisions. I really do feel that I’m supposed to be up there with those guys. I don’t think something like a position should keep me from up there. Because if you want to go into positions, I played every position in the defensive backfield. Under coach (Monte) Kiffin’s scheme you can also say that I played a little linebacker also. Free safety, strong safety, nickel corner for three years. Also I played corner, true corner. I feel like I bring a lot to the table and I have a lot to offer to any team.
Q: Do you think you are the most talented player in this draft?
A: Yes, I believe that.
Q: Talk about your decision to leave school early?
A: It was a very tough decision. I really did enjoy my time at Tennessee. It’s a great university. The fans supported me. When I sat down and had to make that decision I had to put my family before my school. Every since I can remember, my Mom and Dad were working. My Dad had two jobs and he just recently had heart surgery. I wanted him to be able to sit down and enjoy life a little bit. I felt like I could do that by just entering the draft and making that situation better.
Q: What did Monte tell you?
A: (Laughs). Monte told me I would be a fool to come back.
Q: How much better of a player did he make you?
A: All, he made me a better player just from the mental part of the game. He told us exactly why he was calling plays. He didn’t just call plays and run it. He would say, “OK on third and short this is why I’m calling this. Or, this is what you can expect from them.’ We understand his philosophy and understood what he was doing.