NCF On The Trail: Elliot Berry

Early Offer: Mixon all mixed up 

November, 7, 2013
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Just when it seemed clear on what four-star running back Joe Mixon was thinking, an official visit to Florida State has seemingly brought his decision back to square one; two of the top recruits in Ohio were hoping to make a decision in early January, but the success of their high school teams might change those plans; Missouri and Tennessee made nice climbs in the latest RecruitingNation class rankings.

Mixon mixed up

Berry twins commit to Tennessee

November, 4, 2013
Despite losing 31-3 to Missouri on Saturday, Tennessee secured commitments from twin brothers Evan and Elliot Berry (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside) on Monday. The brothers chose Tennessee over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina.

The Berry twins are younger brothers of former Tennessee All-American and current Kansas City Chiefs’ safety Eric Berry. Their father, James Berry, was a running back for Tennessee from 1978 to 1981.

Evan, a 5-foot-11, 194-pound athlete, announced his decision via Twitter.
Committed to UT this morning

— Evan Berry (@aSuperManDoe) November 4, 2013

Evan is the No. 290-ranked player in the country and is being recruited by Tennessee to play on either side of the ball -- though his preference is offense.

Elliot, a 6-foot, 193-pound athlete, is being recruited as an outside linebacker for the Volunteers.

For Tennessee, their fourth-ranked recruiting class gets even stronger. The Vols now have 29 verbal commitments including 11 that are ranked in the ESPN 300. All 25 high school commits are ranked three-star prospects or higher. The remaining four commitments are from junior college players.

With Elliot in the fold, Tennessee now has six linebacker commitments.

The news of the Berry twins commitments couldn’t have come at a better time for Tennessee. The Vols lost a commitment Sunday night from junior college wide receiver Kameel Jackson (Arlington, Texas/Blinn College).

Vols back in Peach State? 

May, 2, 2013
It's a trio of signees that Tennessee fans hold almost as dear at the color orange, Neyland Stadium or Smokey.

When safety Deon Grant, offensive lineman Cosey Coleman and running back Jamal Lewis signed with the Vols in 1997, it led to two SEC titles and a national championship in 1998. Yet it meant almost as much when they signed. For a rare time in Tennessee's football history, it could stroll into Georgia and take prospects the Bulldogs wanted.

Can it happen again? After the commitment of offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. from Duluth (Ga.) Peachtree on Thursday, it at least seems possible. First-year Tennessee coach Butch Jones is banking on success in the Peach State.

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ATLANTA -- Practice for the Georgia Junior Bowl kicked off Friday, and there was no shortage of top prospects on the West squad, which features two ESPN Watch List wide receivers, an emerging running back and one of the nation’s elite defensive players.

Despite all the talent, the center of attention was a set of twins whose older brother plays in the NFL.

Berry twins look to make their own name

[+] EnlargeBerry
Berry FamilyElliot Berry (left) and Evan Berry say they're a package deal wherever they choose to commit.
In football, it’s hard not to stand out when you’re twins, but it’s even harder not to stand out when your older brother plays in the NFL. That’s why Evan and Elliot Berry -- the younger brothers of Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry -- have been the center of attention this week at the Rising Seniors program.

“It has been a good experience,” Evan said. “I like all the competition. You usually don’t get that on a day-to-day basis like that.”

The notoriety from their older brother has helped the twins when it comes to recruiting. They already have scholarship offers from the likes of Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Although both their older brother and their father played for Tennessee, that doesn’t mean the twins are automatically going to be Volunteers.

“I’m sure somebody expects to go us there, but I don’t really feel any pressure to go to that school just because my dad and my brother went there,” Elliot said.

One thing is certain -- the Berry twins are a package deal.

The two have offers from the same schools. They both visit the same places and attend the same games. So if you get one, you’re getting the other one, too.

“Why not? We’re a package deal,” Evan said. “Instead of getting to know new players, I already know him. He’s my twin.”

“I’m pretty sure college is going to be a difficult adjustment,” Elliot said, "so why not have somebody go through that adjustment with you and help you out."

The duo visited Georgia for a game this fall and also saw Auburn and Clemson play in the Georgia Dome to open the season.

Regardless of whether they decide to follow their older brother to Tennessee or create their own path, Eric -- the former first-round draft pick -- has been helpful through the recruiting process. After all, he’s been through it before.

“He just told us to stay humble, because as you’ve seen this year, there’s a lot of coaching changes,” Evan said. “Don’t get tied into the school, and don’t go to a school because of the coach. Go because of the fans, the atmosphere and the facilities.”

Newsworthy: Eyes on the West Coast

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JEFFERSON, Ga. -- Fraternal twins Evan and Elliot Berry (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside) have yet to play a down of their junior seasons. Evan says he is not yet driving, and Elliot says he has a lot to work on as a player. Yet for more than three years, the Berry twins have dealt with being the first notable FBS prospects in the 2014 class, thanks to a certain NFL Pro Bowl safety who has praised the brothers since they were in middle school.

Former Tennessee Volunteers star Eric Berry, who now plays safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, honored his younger brothers with a tattoo of each, one on the inside of each of his arms, and proclaimed in 2008 that the two were more advanced than he was at the same age.

Elliot, the elder of the twins by two minutes, is well aware of the early spotlight.

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Auburn continues to be the team to watch for Elliot and Evan Berry.

The sophomore twins have several reasons to head west, namely a close relationship with assistant coach Trooper Taylor -- whom they met when he was an assistant coach at Tennessee -- and former teammate Joshua Holsey, who committed to Auburn last spring.

Despite their older brother's standout career at Tennessee, the twins' mother, Carol Berry, said the family hasn't had close contact with the Volunteers. The Berrys' father, James Berry, also played running back for Tennessee.

Elliot plays tailback, linebacker and defensive end. Evan, like Eric did at Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside from 2003 to 2006, plays quarterback and safety.

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