Eric Berry’s brother, 13, ‘commits’ to Tennessee

Monte Kiffin may not be at Tennessee if the younger Evan Berry ever attends. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel)

Monte Kiffin may not be at Tennessee if the younger Evan Berry ever attends. (Saul Young/Knoxville News Sentinel)

By LARRY HARTSTEIN

James Berry’s kids always have been precocious. But committing to a college football program in middle school?

Evan Berry, the 13-year-old brother of Tennessee All-American safety Eric Berry, caused an Internet stir when he told Rivals.com he was committing to play for the Vols.

In fact, Tennessee cannot offer a scholarship until a prospect’s junior year of high school. So there’s no offer for Evan — a rising 8th-grader at Bear Creek Middle School in Fairburn — to accept.

That didn’t stop him, however. “‘I’m committing’ — those were his words,” James Berry said Tuesday. “He loves being at Tennessee (for practices and games), but the way I look at it is he’s 13 years old and he’s got I don’t know how many more years to decide. It’s not the first time I’ve heard him say he’s going to Tennessee.”

Tennessee and other bigtime programs likely will be interested in Evan and his twin brother, Elliott. Both are talented football players and sprinters. Elliott is already 5-foot-11, 165 pounds; Evan is 5-8, 152.

“They’re hard workers and they love what they’re doing,” James Berry said, noting Evan is probably faster than his All-American brother was at this stage. “Eric didn’t run track until his sophomore year of high school, so Evan is ahead of the game. He’s a natural ballhawk, loves playing defense. He’s probably not the hitter Eric is, but as far as instinct and breaking to the ball, he’s on cue.”

Eric Berry, a rising junior, tied for the lead nationally with seven interceptions last season.

His dad, who played running back at Tennessee in the late 1970s, coaches the twins on the Fairburn Flames.

Evan plays quarterback and safety; Elliott plays running back and linebacker. Not to be shut out of the recruiting spotlight, Elliott “says he’s partial to LSU,” James Berry said. The twins have one more year at Bear Creek Middle School before they go to Creekside High.

58 comments Add your comment

meee

June 30th, 2009
5:38 pm

Y report this?

JMar

June 30th, 2009
5:42 pm

I think this is very interesting; definitely worth reporting and likely to create controversy. Monte Kiffin’s 69 years old, though, so I’m not sure I would expect him to still be around.

Jimbo

June 30th, 2009
5:45 pm

Are you kidding me? This has got to be a joke- only an idiot would sign a 13 year old. Unless he’s Clark Kent, I guess.

misterwax

June 30th, 2009
5:53 pm

no need to be concerned…..The kid might be flunked out of highschool and in jail by then….and the Democrats and Our Lord and Savior Obama will have outlawed football because it is not tolerant of homosexuals….simple as that.

Jason

June 30th, 2009
5:56 pm

I honestly want to hear Kiffins remarks about this.. They will be priceless I promise you that.

R U Kidding Me?

June 30th, 2009
5:58 pm

Lame Kitten himself will not be around; much less Daddy.

PTC DAWG

June 30th, 2009
6:01 pm

Crazy….just crazy…

Billy D. Ski

June 30th, 2009
6:15 pm

Doesn’t Eric have two younger brothers? I thought they were twins. Where is the other brother? I heard both of them were awesome youth football players.

Mike B.

June 30th, 2009
6:27 pm

Billy D. Ski, take the time to read the entire article.

Milledgeville Dawg

June 30th, 2009
6:27 pm

Lane Kiffin is a sick man, I mean boy!!

Billy D. Ski

June 30th, 2009
6:29 pm

sorry mike they updated article.

BILLY JACK

June 30th, 2009
6:34 pm

Tennesee is more pathetic than Tech-all of Tennesee coaching staff will be fired and banished to probation before this kid is a senior.

K-Town Dawg

June 30th, 2009
6:44 pm

country boy

June 30th, 2009
7:36 pm

Now my 11 yr. old told me today he was going to play for the Gators. Can our family get some ink?

BigMike

June 30th, 2009
8:06 pm

My unborn just kicked my wife nad said he commited to UGA in 2027 ! So much for bargaining to get a Escalade out of the deal.

AfroDawg

June 30th, 2009
8:20 pm

misterwax this is a sports blog, so take your “sore loser buttocks” over to Wooten’s or Bookman’s blog. However; since you’re here, how
bout them Dems?

Alan

June 30th, 2009
8:27 pm

If UT is dumb enough to think this thug will play for them they are a moron. Do they not know that he will most likely end up in jail at some point in high school for murder, selling drugs, or robbery? We all know what great PEOPLE black athletes are.

Smyrna Man

June 30th, 2009
8:35 pm

Pretty Sweet IMO

2 more EB’s going to UT

Herschel Talker

June 30th, 2009
8:38 pm

Smyrna Man likes men

The Great Pumpkin

June 30th, 2009
8:49 pm

Hey he probably has a higher gpa than the rest of the vols and his police record isn’t as long. Ye ha rocky flop.

AfroDawg

June 30th, 2009
10:56 pm

Alan @ 8:27, let’s see how many games the Vols win with 95 bottom heavy meth users on the squad.

Tyler

June 30th, 2009
11:51 pm

If im reading this correctly. it says “i’m committing” not i’m commited to Tennessee.. committing(a few years down the road) obviously.. and Tennessee has had 0 arrests this year. how many has uga or uf had?

braveshater

July 1st, 2009
12:16 am

misterwax or aln, either one of u crackers can meet me in college park anytime. I’ll hang u and your mother. fucin paleface saltine.

chris o bomb

July 1st, 2009
1:09 am

this is one of those dumb yet have to read headlines for me as a football fan. vols’ fans… dont get your hopes up with this. thwg

chris o bomb

July 1st, 2009
1:15 am

this blog is one of the reasons why the ajc should make it sooo much easier to report these racists thats giving atlanta a bad name… nevertheless- country music rules!

Meatlake

July 1st, 2009
7:10 am

Hilarious…I give a crap. Alan and braveshater, you two are an rascist idiots…real constructive and real manly too considering your both faceless and anonymous. Who at the AJC deemed this newsworthy??? Heck, Kiffin won’t even be there by the time this kid goes to college so who’s he committing to? COMPLETELY UN-NEWSWORTHY!!!

Cascade

July 1st, 2009
7:22 am

The Berry Twins are special football players much like there older brother Eric was at there age. They play football in the Metro Atlanta Youth Football League (MAYFL), that has produce several Super Southern 100 prospects. It’s reason why they draw so much attention on the football field and on the track, they are good. They have set state and national record for there age group in track.
Give them 5 years and they will both be Parade All-Americans. Just like older brother Eric.

Dave

July 1st, 2009
7:23 am

In reading this it seems there is a rule by the NCAA to keep schools from offering young kids offers. Kiffin like always seems to just ignore a lot of rules. I guess if this is a rule violation my question is why doesn’t the NCAA enforce this rule? I guess if I was the NCAA I might say to the school you have committed a violation with this player so besides it being a secondary or in my view a primary violation your penalty is you are not allowed to recruit him when he comes of age in his junior year.

the pressure the kid must feel from his father. kinda like what michael jackson said about his father???

July 1st, 2009
7:47 am

Enter your comments here

gtforever

July 1st, 2009
7:49 am

good grief…. I have NO idea why I read such dribble!

tenn.DAWG

July 1st, 2009
8:12 am

Just more proof,Kiffin will do anything to get his name in the press.

JT

July 1st, 2009
8:20 am

joe

July 1st, 2009
8:26 am

That program is a tire fire? They have an immature kid as a coach who has accomplished nothing, at least 3 notorious bagmen as assistants and a talent level that is mid conference level at best. This is going to be fun to sit back and watch.

AJC Lover

July 1st, 2009
9:04 am

Seriously? You people are making statements about a 13 year old kid being a thug? That is a little over the top. The “Blog” and the ability for any clown to post a comment on any story is absurd. Hide behind your PC and make slanderous remarks. Feel like a man.

dgroy

July 1st, 2009
9:10 am

You know, AJC, this is just another one of the reasons you’re going belly up. I know this is a slow news time before football starts but surely you can find a more worthy sports story to report. Now I suppose you’re gonna do a weekly/monthly update on his progress up until his senior year if, in fact, this paper is still around then.

Buttsniffing Dog

July 1st, 2009
9:17 am

It’s amazing to see the stupid comments from dogbutt sniffers but on the otherhand its not! Perhaps if they had a high school education they would be more openminded to a 13 year old.

Shug

July 1st, 2009
9:25 am

My 2d grade grandson just committed to Yale. We’re all glad that decision’s out of the way.

Laughing Out Loud at UGA fans

July 1st, 2009
9:48 am

I realize that reading comprehension isn’t at the top of the list of you UGA fans, but it seems that the third paragraph of the story just sailed right over your heads. Try reading it again, and read it very slowly so you can understand it.

You guys are a hoot.

3rd grader

July 1st, 2009
9:55 am

I understand that he already is academically eligible for UT.

FRED

July 1st, 2009
10:17 am

why does this family live in Georgia. they should live in Tennessee.

Simple Man

July 1st, 2009
10:24 am

I cannot believe some of these comments made here, this is fine kid from a fine family who lives in a fine area, like me,(atlanta) who has watched his brother develop into an All American. He becomes infatuated with the school his brother plays at and says I am committing to UT. No where does it say anything about Kiffin offering, or any other statement like that. Yet we read racial statements on here, people who call other CHILDERN thugs, people who support other teams calling young men druggies, thugs etc. and yet their own house is not in shape with arrests, drugs etc. Then the posters make statements about a coach that is so far from the truth that anyone who happens to know southern football realizes just what fine examples of fans support such other teams. And since most of the slander tossing fans have ‘dawg’ tied to their name, I guess we all see just what fine examples of support this university has….you guys need to stay strictly to RAW and other forms of wrestling for entertainment. You sure are making your favorite School look like an arm pit

FAMU0172

July 1st, 2009
11:26 am

For the racial idiots, do you realize that Eric Berry is an honor student at Tennessee who will be a top 5 pick in next years NFL draft. The kid has aspirations to become a dentist after footabll. The family is well-grounded. Ignorance is bliss to people that really don’t have anything to do with their lives besides hate others because of their race. People that focus on spewing negativity must live very miserable lives.

Dawgtime

July 1st, 2009
12:10 pm

Wow….. FAMU0172, this is not a racial issue. That is a stupid claim. Eric Berry is a great football player. No one is questioning that. This is an article for the future and not now. Many kids aspire to do many things but things change in time. I would encourage everyone to remember that we are talking about young children. Let them be children and worry about major decisions in the future.

Buttsniffing Dog

July 1st, 2009
1:57 pm

Simple Man-I assume you are a Tech grad because you have more than a “simple” mind vs. the clueless, knuckle dragging, average bulldog buttsniffing fan!!

Dawgtime

July 1st, 2009
4:50 pm

I spoke with five 13 year old kids. Two informed me that they will be NBA stars. One informed me that he is going to play in the NFL. One told me that he is going to be a rock star. The last one stated that he like to be a rapper. So, the AJC should run an article about this group of kids that is a group of prodigies. NOT. As children, we all had dreams and goals but they are often not based on reality. That is just how irrelevant and silly this article is. It has nothing to do with this family rather a poor selection for an article.

Dawgtime

July 1st, 2009
4:55 pm

I must say that it is very ironic that a fan named “Buttsniffing Dog” is making a feeble attempt to criticize UGA fans. This is obviously a delusional GT fan that has a case of keyboard courage.

Mike

July 1st, 2009
5:13 pm

A 13 year old committing is an absolute joke. I don’t care if he was the coaches son.

H OBAMA

July 2nd, 2009
1:58 am

NO MORE STORIES ON UNFAITHFUL PLAYER JUMPING OUT OF STATE TO PLAY FOOTBALL FOR THE ENEMY. YOU ARE ADVISED AJC THAT YOU WILL BE TAXED TO THE HILT IF ANY MORE OF THIS GARBAGE IS PRINTED. HILLARY WILL BE TALKING TO YOU

Jason

July 2nd, 2009
2:31 am

This isn’t even a story…is AJC pursuing through Facebook blogs now for trash to report?

Ramblin Rick

July 2nd, 2009
8:58 am

what a douche