Derek Dooley stopped in Atlanta to check on the twin brothers of perhaps the most famous ex-Tennessee football player not named Peyton Manning or Reggie White this week.
Evan and Elliott Berry are twin mega-prospects at Creekside High School, and the younger brothers of Eric Berry. Evan is a quarterback and safety, while Elliott plays linebacker and tailback.
Eric, who plays with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, wasn’t too happy with Dooley and Tennessee last spring and expressed it on Twitter. He thought the Vols waited too long to get serious with Creekside DB Josh Holsey, who eventually committed to Auburn.
Rumors that there’s a fractured relationship between Dooley and the Berry family have ignited an epic and never-ending debate on the Tennessee message boards.
Flash forward to this week: It was the first face-to-face meeting between Dooley and the Berry twins, who are two of the nation’s top college football prospects for 2014. The Creekside sophomores are already being heavily recruited by Auburn, Alabama, UGA, Georgia Tech, LSU and Virginia Tech.
“Coach Dooley just wanted to introduce himself, and say that he wanted to build a relationship with them,” Creekside coach Johnny White told the AJC. “He couldn’t really talk to them because they are just sophomores.
“The visit was just to let the twins know that he knows about them. Coach Dooley said there’s no question that the program is going to be back where it was, and other things like that. I guess [Dooley] wanted to put a name with a face because they’ve never met before.”
Which college is leading for the twins? They don’t claim any early favorites. Of course, everybody thinks it’s a foregone conclusion that they will sign with Tennessee — but Evan and Elliott seem almost insulted with the notion that it’s “automatic” that they will follow in the footsteps of Eric and their father to play football at Rocky Top. There are rumors that Auburn is the early leader. White maintained the twins are “open” and “undecided” but did say there is an Auburn connection.
“Besides Eric, they look up to Holsey,” White said. “They’ve also got a really strong relationship with [Auburn assistant] Trooper Taylor because they were young guys when Trooper was recruiting Eric. Trooper is the one who recruited Eric to Tennessee. Trooper also has a son their age, so when they went to Tennessee, they would be with Trooper’s son all the time. They’re all high school sophomores right now and good friends. Auburn is close to home, and they really like Gene Chizik.”
SINCE YOU LAST LEFT YOUR COMPUTER …
IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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