Eric Berry, the Tennessee All-America safety who was drafted No. 5 overall by the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, has younger brothers that are twins.
One of them, Evan Berry, made national headlines last year when a recruiting website said that he was offered by Tennessee and committed to the Volunteers — while at the tender age of 13 years old, still in middle school, and playing for the local recreation department’s Fairburn Flames. It made Evan and Elliott, helped by their brother’s accomplishments, instant celebrities in recruiting circles.
Now it’s one year later, the twins (now at the old age of 14) have arrived at Creekside High and are working toward meeting the advanced hype.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Evan plays quarterback and safety — the same Creekside positions as Eric. Evan has thrown 9 TD passes in four games while running for three scores. Meanwhile, Elliott is 6-foot 193 pounds, taller than both brothers, plays linebacker and running back and leads the Creekside in tackles with 44.
“In the state of Georgia, because of what their older brother has done, they are two freshmen that everybody really knows about,” said Banneker coach Ed Gosa, whose team dropped a 25-6 decision to Creekside.
“Right now, I’d say they are holding their own. Eric dominated as a freshman and could change a game. The twins are not there yet, but they are going to be. I’d say in about two years, they are going to be forces to be reckoned with.”
Now back to the Tennessee thing: “Let me clarify that,” said their father, James Berry. “They were at track practice one evening, and you know how kids get around and talk about what schools they like, along with this or that. Other schools were talking about schools, and Evan said he liked Tennessee. Some reporter heard about that and ran with it. He actually asked Evan if he would like to go Tennessee and Evan said ‘Yes.’
“The next thing you know we’re getting phone calls from everywhere that he committed as a 13-year old. That was just a misunderstanding but it’s really no big deal to us. At 13, his opinion may change 10-11 times between then and when it’s time to go to college.”
The elder Berry said that Tennessee did not formally offer a scholarship, rather saying ”in the near future, if you want to play at Tennessee, we’ll have a place for you.”
UCLA and UGA have indicated the same scenario to not only Evan, but to both twins. We’re talking package deals. Evan said he went to a 7-on-7 tournament at UGA this past summer and later talked with Bulldogs coach Mark Richt. “Coach Richt told me ‘I’ve seen enough. I like how you play at quarterback. And from what I’ve heard about your brother from other coaches, he can’t be much different. I want both of you to play for Georgia.’ I was pretty excited about it.”
Papa Berry isn’t reading into anything too much with recruiting just yet. “We’re thankful and blessed with the kind words from all the colleges. We know it’s all part of the recruiting process, to let these kids know early on that you’re interested in them. If a kid doesn’t pan out in 3-4 years, you may not hear back from the schools. If he does well, then they will stay after you.
“Right now, Evan and Elliott aren’t really thinking about colleges. They are focused on working hard to help out Creekside High School. All that other stuff is for later on.”
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