Derek Dooley finally meets Berry twins for the first time

Wonder Twins: Elliott Berry (left) and Evan Berry are almost insulted when people suggest it's "automatic" that they will follow in footsteps of brother Eric and father to play football at Tennessee (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Wonder Twins: Most people expect Elliott Berry (left) and Evan Berry to "automatically" follow in the football footsteps of older brother Eric Berry and their father and play for Tennessee but ... (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

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.

Are the Berry twins "automatic" for Tennessee?

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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.”

Derek Dooley met Eric Berry's twin brothers for the first time (AP photo)

Derek Dooley met Eric Berry's twin brothers for the first time (AP photo)

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.”

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104 comments Add your comment

Destin Dawg

January 28th, 2012
6:49 am

Destin Dawg

January 28th, 2012
6:52 am

it should be against the rules to start recruiting Sophmores.. 15 or 16 year olds..

Anonymous

January 28th, 2012
7:02 am

[...] Dooley stopped by this week to check on the twins. Derek Dooley meets Berry twins for the first time | AJC College Sports Recruiting [...]

JB

January 28th, 2012
7:02 am

Don’t think they end in Athens.Look for them in Auburn, dissing Tennessee……..But will Trooper still be at Auburn by then is the question. Wonder how much the seed money was?

Destin Dawg

January 28th, 2012
7:08 am

what will Dooley do with those bright Orange pants after he’s fired ?

TennesseeDawg

January 28th, 2012
7:22 am

Not surprising Trooper Taylor has already been skulking around this kids. Hopefully Trooper has enough money left under the salary cap to sign both of them.

Beast from the East

January 28th, 2012
7:28 am

“Coach Dooley said there’s no question that the program is going to be back where it was.”

I feel sure UT WILL get back to where it was……but NOT with Dooley at the helm.

slydog

January 28th, 2012
7:33 am

If he is just meeting the Berry twins, then he is late to the party. I call that, taking their commitment for granted. Where is Mark Richt with an early evaluation? At least one of them is bound to be a baller.

slydog

January 28th, 2012
7:38 am

@Destin Dawg

January 28th, 2012
6:52 am

“it should be against the rules to start recruiting Sophmores.. 15 or 16 year olds..”

They don’t care. It’s just a piece of meat (or dare I say chattel) to the Presidents, Chancellors, Provosts, and corporate sponsors of the NCAA and their institutions and the NFL and their 32 billionaire ownership. If we can’t teach them how to read, we can at least teach them how to play a sport, like a gladiator.

slydog

January 28th, 2012
7:39 am

P.S. the gladiator comment is what thye would say, not me…lol.

The Orange Pants

January 28th, 2012
7:53 am

If you think my bosses’ first two years are an indication of what he is, then you’re dead wrong and don’t have a freaking clue of how bad the situation was when he got here.
Dooley is finally getting the roster restocked in quality and depth to compete in the SEC. This year might, might, be an indication of what UT has.

BobbyDawg

January 28th, 2012
7:57 am

Sorry Derek! These young men are gonna be Dawgs.

footballfan365

January 28th, 2012
8:08 am

I have seen the guys play a few times and to be honest I was not impressed they have potential but they have a LONG way to go. I partly blame the coaches Evan cant throw the ball 20 yds they run the spread offense and they are set on him being the qb. Now Elliott is big and fast and could easily be an 1800yd back but thats typical Creekside high school coaching have teams full of talent but the coaches never do anything with it.

bitter immigration laws

January 28th, 2012
8:09 am

check their green card?====14 million to 1 odds———————brown

better story cra—————-vell

Admiral Obvious

January 28th, 2012
8:14 am

Derek Dooley should have been fired the end of last season. The only reason he has the TN job is because his last name is Dooley. I know the Vols are “rebuilding” but of greater concern is the fact that this team is poorly coached. This is his last season thus the twins should look elsewhere.

coloradobulldog

January 28th, 2012
8:45 am

Finally for the first time? If Dooley ‘finally’ met them I think its safe to assume its the first time he has met them. But it might be okay to say Dolley finally met the Berry twins for the last time since he will not be the UT Coach come their JR or SR years.

JT

January 28th, 2012
9:04 am

Big advantage for Auburn if other coaches can’t talk to them yet, but they’ve known Trooper Taylor for years. But it’s 2 years off and Taylor may be off to another job by then. Perhaps even head coach at Tennessee.

Dawg48

January 28th, 2012
9:05 am

When I hear Trooper Taylor RED FLAGS go up at medianly! Am I the only one.

smells of satan

January 28th, 2012
9:06 am

Hopefully they will show more class than their brother and not use the Ga taxpayers’ money for their education and training and go play for the enemy. Stay home and not be another dingleberry.

Heavily recruited?

January 28th, 2012
9:20 am

How can they already be “Heavily Recruited” by all those schools if coaches aren’t even allowed to have a conversation with them yet?

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
9:22 am

Mutts can forget Berry twins ……………..

AFTER ALL, THEY LISTEN TO BIG BRO ERIC AND THEIR FATHER.

They never have bled red and black, nor will they ever…..

Don’t waste your flea-full time.

GA88

January 28th, 2012
9:28 am

an article about sophmores. good grief they might not even be able to drive a car yet. need to start drawing the line and only report on seniors or rising seniors.

FLAVOLS

January 28th, 2012
9:29 am

Leghumpers were never in it to begin with and thus the slant by this shill writer. These boys are good players and even if they don’t go to UT the Vols will be fine. Trooper is all about Trooper. Doubtful he’ll be around in two years anyway.

@ footballfan365

January 28th, 2012
9:53 am

Jury is still out on Coach White. He is loaded with 10th & 9th grader so this year may give a true perspective.

slydog

January 28th, 2012
9:59 am

Trooper Taylor sounds like a guy who has worked his way from Pee Wee football to a pretty good college assistant coach (like McCrary of the Atlanta Celtics). Recruiting is a sleazy business period. So I won’t play the hater card because he is approaching these kids from a bottom-up view, while most coaches use the “you need me in order to succeed” point of view. That does not mean he doesn’t pass around any goodies. But I’m willing to bet he has these kids best interest at heart more than any of these coaches. And yes, it’s a color thing. And he no doubt will tell any kid to make sure you get yours because they will get theirs. Who can dispute that? I’m just being honest. In this case, Trooper doesn’t have to use money. They have money. They had money before Eric turned pro. Their father runs a youth football league in Fairburn. It’s all about relationships. And yes, the leg humpers have a chance. Both of these guys will probably end up at defensive back and Eric and his father knows that. UGA needs DB’s and high caliber athletes come 2014. There is way more turbelance in Knoxville than in Athens or Auburn at the moment. Anyways, to be continued….

McDawg

January 28th, 2012
9:59 am

dissing on the berry boys

5150 UOAD

January 28th, 2012
10:15 am

Sophomores……Hahaha…….are you kidding? Is there any wonder why these kids have EGOS? Kids this young really don’t need to be talking to college coaches and vise versa. be Young and have fun with your life. The Pressure on the players isn’t needed until they are 1/2 way through their Junior years.

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
10:21 am

@ slymutt…………….

You my friend are an idiot…

Wish in one hand and s-it in the other.

Here is a little hint…..

Neither care about the pound-less voids on defense.

GET IT NOW ?

1eyedJack

January 28th, 2012
10:23 am

At that age I was more concerned about getting my drivers license, and getting that girl whose breasts sprouted over the summer to notice me.

Rick James

January 28th, 2012
10:27 am

Dooley wont be at Tennesee in 2014..Sorry just dont see it.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

January 28th, 2012
10:32 am

Towel waver was brought to AU for what he does best…ghetto recruiting and street agent contacts. Boone Pickens let him walk without a counter offer so take it for what it is/was. The NCAA has some new rules that help with this type slime but it’s still taking place. When AU can recruit players away from Miami,USC,UGA,LSU and other big programs then you understand the deal. The Banker at AU has been doing this since the old drunk was hired in 81. AU ranked 20th in recruiting coming off a NC year so yes the NCAA is still in their watching cow college U. You mention HC…LOL. AU wouldn’t even give him the OC position just as Fulmer and UT didn’t and he left. Keep an eye on AU once NSD is done.

IL Jacket

January 28th, 2012
10:44 am

slydog, your 9:59 post is spot on. With respect to the posters that say, Oh don’t bother recruiting these kids, they are just going to Auburn, you have to be kidding me. Now there is very little you can do right now other than as Dooley did, just letting you know I am following you. These are going to be two high impact players and with a chance to get both would make a huge difference in a program in one year. To ignore recruiting them would be like saying, no reason wasting time with Peyton Manning he is an Ole Miss lock. Good thing Cutcliffe and Fulmer didn’t think that way. I know it is a long shot, but Tech should be putting themselves in the hunt also. The upside is huge.

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
10:47 am

Dooley will rebound at Tennessee because AD still wearing egg on his face over Kiffen debacle…..

Will give CDD a year or 2 to right ship, Berry Bro’s will bleed orange……

Sorry mutts.

yellowfever

January 28th, 2012
10:52 am

I heard these kids are comitted to Tech and will never, ever,ever,ever change their minds. LOL

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
10:54 am

Might just be a good option, could happen if they are smart enough…..

5150 UOAD

January 28th, 2012
10:55 am

They will be going to So. Carolina.

SLAWDAWG

January 28th, 2012
11:07 am

5150….I see you did get that a** last night, way to go man!!!!

AU Man

January 28th, 2012
11:28 am

After this season, Dooley wont even be there.

5150 UOAD

January 28th, 2012
11:35 am

AU Man funny. The VOLS have been through too much IMO to change coaches this soon. IF IF a great coach comes available They might consider making a change, but I don’t see them getting in a bidding war to hire an already sitting coach.

Rio Sanchez

January 28th, 2012
11:40 am

Unfortunately Tennessee will always be Tennessee. They spend more money on recruiting and facilities than anyone in the SEC. Their recruiting budget is more than anyone in the NCAA. It’s unfair that they can’t remain down. There needs to be NCAA rules on how much can be spent by schools like Tennessee.

Rio Sanchez

January 28th, 2012
11:43 am

I might add, whether Dooley is their couch or not, Tennessee’s tradition and elitism accounts for a lot. It’s not fair.

SmyrnaJerome

January 28th, 2012
11:44 am

Dooley isn’t going anywhere next year. Vols win 8 games and the Berry bros are VFL

ColumbDawg

January 28th, 2012
11:44 am

If recruiting has taught us anything, its that there is no way to predict where sophomores will end up this early in the process. There are recruits this week that will switch schools at the last minute and they have been committed to other schools for a long time.

Tennessee may be a surprise team next year like some are predicting. They may be horrible. The Dawgs may win big also and change a lot of future recruits minds. Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn, they all may be good or may be bad? Who knows? Players leaving early, injuries to key players, no way to predict everything and that’s why they play the game.

The landscape of the game can change quickly in 2 years and over-hyping sophomores in high school that have proven nothing is a little premature. A large number of these so called mega 5 star can’t miss recruits are busts or average at the next level. Just because your brother was good, doesn’t guarantee you success. And there may be better prospects at their position that the other schools want more?

Good luck to these two and I hope it works out for them but they have a lot more to prove before playing in the SEC! I think the practice of telling these kids how great they are and inflating their egos at a younger and younger age each year is not good for their long term success on and off the field.

slydog

January 28th, 2012
11:58 am

I did forget one thing: Kiffin already offered them before he left for USC, I think…lol

slydog

January 28th, 2012
12:00 pm

@Muffin

How you gone diss somebody with a username like that? Sounds like a drunk, bigot to me. “..if they are smart enough…” Stale a__ muffin

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
12:12 pm

@slycrap

Don’t worry your punked a$$ about my user name.
stinkin a$$ mutt.

Allison.Derek'swife

January 28th, 2012
12:25 pm

Keep it up you snarky lil brats. I will send my M-I-L to kick your butt if you keep talking about my husband. You know she is meaner than the Suntan coach you people love.

5150 UOAD

January 28th, 2012
12:28 pm

H uses MUFFIN as his handle cause it is a cute pet name for his wife. he is a Rocky Top fan and his wife has a Muffin Top when she wears jeans. He just Shortened Muffin Top to MUFFIN.

Muskrat

January 28th, 2012
12:33 pm

A bunch of delusional spankers commenting on this board. Anyone who knows The Berry family knows James isn’t letting any idiots get close to his kids. While I’m a Dawg and would love to see the twins in red & black I admire James for being an outstanding father and the twins will excel wherever they decide to play ball. This isn’t your typical family but you would never know it by the way they all carry themselves. Don’t be surprised if all 3 Berry’s wind up in the NFL at the same time.

Muffin

January 28th, 2012
12:33 pm

5150.

Get back on garbage truck and earn your pay….

I use only my name ANYTIME you see it , little boy…..

UOAD= U – OBVIOUSLY – ARE – DICK..

Good name, fits you…. a-hat.