Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Q&A with 2014 linebacker Kyle Berger
By Josh Moyer
2014 linebacker Kyle Berger (Cleveland, Ohio/Saint Ignatius) recently visited Ohio State and then had fellow Big Ten schools Michigan and Ohio State extend offers. BuckeyeNation recently caught up with Berger to ask him about his recruitment and what kind of player he is.
BN: You're from Ohio -- and you have an offer from Ohio State. So, everybody basically assumes you'll eventually commit to the Buckeyes. What would you say to that?
KB: Right now, it's kind of tough to say who's in the lead. Ohio State is my only visit I've taken so far. I want to get up and visit other places, possibly Penn State since I have an offer. Probably, right now, Ohio State is in the lead because I haven't seen other schools that I could compare it to. But that could change; I'm not too set on my schools right now.
BN: You want to commit by April. Why April, and why so early?
KB: I'm just hoping to get it off my back for my senior year. I don't want to be worrying about my senior season, about playing bad or having my scholarship taken away. I don't want the burden on me if I get injured or something like that, and I'd like the burden off me all summer so I can work hard and help my team to a state championship.
BN: What are your priorities in a school?
KB: Without a doubt, academics first. My parents have always forced me -- well, not forced me -- but I'm told to focus a lot on my grades. Football's not going to be there forever, and I still get in trouble for Bs. And I want to be a doctor, so I'm looking at medical schools and academic teams. Also, the tradition of the football program and the atmosphere for a school, and I definitely want the closeness to home.
BN: I see you had 39 tackles for loss last season. How on earth does that come about; how often do you blitz?
KB: They definitely blitz me a lot this year, probably two times every series of downs I probably blitz. My coaches really like my speed on the outside, and I can beat the tackles pretty easily because I have more athleticism, so I do that a lot.
BN: Well, it seems like your speed is definitely a strength. But can you break down your other strengths and weaknesses for me?
KB: Definitely. I think what I need to improve on is my strength. I could get a lot bigger and stronger, and I'm a little undersized at the linebacker position by weight. So I would like to add some weight and get more muscle. Sometimes, I would screw up whether it's a run or pass and what the lineman's doing. Part of the reason is my first couple steps. You take one step forward every play, and sometimes I take one back. I kind of naturally did that when I should be running forward. My linebackers coach pointed it out to me, and that's one thing I worked on all season. I'm getting better at it.
My biggest strength is my speed and athleticism and my instincts to the ball. When a guy's going upfield, I know what angle to take and I don't question it.