Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. The NCAA prohibits schools from formally offering scholarships until a prospect has registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. UT has not offered Berry a scholarship.
Even though it’s too early for Tennessee to actually offer, UT has received its first commitment for the Class of 2013.
That’s right, 2013.
Evan Berry, brother of UT All-American safety Eric Berry, has committed to the Vols even before beginning his freshman season in high school.
“It’s the only college I know right now and it seems the best for me,” Evan Berry, 13, told Rivals.com, which first reported the story. “My dad went there and my brother is there now. I know I can do the same things there. I have a real friendly relationship with the coaches there. I don’t know them too well, but I know I will have plenty of time to get to know them.”
Evan, along with his twin brother Elliot, have been frequent visitors to Tennessee practices.
Evan and Elliot are set to begin their career at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., this fall. Evan projects as a safety and quarterback, just like his older brother did in high school.
Evan also wants to follow his older brother’s footsteps into the defensive backfield.
“I want to play in the secondary, and I want to play for Coach (Monte) Kiffin,” Evan Berry told Rivals.com.
Eric Berry enters his junior season after earning consensus All-American honors last season, and he is one of the top-rated prospects for next year’s NFL draft.
Evan might be ahead of his brother’s pace, says his father.
James Berry, the boys’ father and former UT standout, told Rivals.com that Evan – and Elliot – are both further along in their development than their older brother was at age 13.
The NCAA prohibits schools from formally offering scholarships until a prospect has registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. but judging by the accomplishments of his older brother at UT one would expect the Vols coaching staff certainly appreciates the thought of Evan Berry committing.
Evan’s father acknowledged that four years is a long time to remain committed.
“Hey, we just have to take it one day at a time,” James Berry said, according to Rivals.com. “Things happen, and four years is a long ways away.”
Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.