Eric Berry wanted to go where everybody knew his name.

If there’s one thing I’ve got to give coaches who are successful at recruiting credit for, it’s having the patience to deal with seventeen year-old kids with bloated egos.

Alas, we learn that Mark Richt screwed up the recruitment of uber-safety Eric Berry.  At least according to Mr. Berry:

“I guess I just felt like Georgia thought they had me in the bag, and they didn’t even know about me and I was in their backyard,” Berry says. “I remember when I went on my recruiting visit, coach [Mark] Richt had my name and stats written on his hand. I guess he thought I didn’t see it or something, but I did.

“They were talking to me about playing wide receiver; they didn’t even know my position was safety and quarterback. That really made me upset. Coach Kiffin [who then was at USC], he came with Pete Carroll and the running backs coach and they knew all about me. And I was in Georgia’s backyard.

“But all the talk was about Caleb King [now a sophomore at Georgia]. I guess that’s why I always favored Tennessee. They always recruited me hard and let me know what I meant to them. That hurt my feelings, I’m not even going to lie. But I love Mark Richt, love his staff. Him and coach [Rodney] Garner, because they’re the ones that recruited me. They’re both good men. I was just like, ‘Dang.’ I just felt like you need to be in your backyard. I just felt like [they] needed to know a little something about me. A few more phone calls or something.”

Dang, indeed.  I’m not comprehending what Georgia’s recruitment of a running back had to do with Berry’s love for Tennessee.  And if we’re supposed to believe that Caleb King was a bigger factor in his decision than that his dad played at UT, why didn’t Berry go to USC?  Makes no sense.

But then again, I’ve never noticed that Garner and Richt have had a problem multi-tasking the kids they recruit.  Just a weird shot for Berry to take at this point in time, if you ask me.


UPDATE: Over at Team Speed Kills, cocknfire thinks I doth protest too much.  In rebuttal, I can only direct him to this David Hale post.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

23 responses to “Eric Berry wanted to go where everybody knew his name.

  1. I think he is just saying Caleb got all the love. Maybe more of a priority in general. That’s too bad, Eric is an awesome talent.



  2. JasonC

    Maybe Berry speaking out is all part of “The Master Plan.”


  3. Pingback: Monday (8/5) reading « The Chapel Bell

  4. Dog in Fla

    Global War on Lane –

    Lane’s Master Plan:

    Article XIII, Part J., Section 13, Paragraph 1(a)(2)(z):

    Deploy Heisman candidate and best player on team not drafted by Lane as an apparatchik for interview and billboard purposes to oust Richt and overthrow his occupation of territory inside the I-285 Perimeter.

    Lane’s handwritten margin memoir notes to Master Plan:

    **Tweet Sabin prior to Invasion of Atlanta to ensure no interference with what Sabin ‘thinks’ are his established battle lines and territories inside Perimeter. Strategically, no need at this point to anger Sabin more than Lance and I already have while Lance and O try to recapture Memphis from Sabin and Richt. If I anger Richt, so what, we’ll just see how many points he can hang on Daddy in Knoxville.


  5. SCDawg

    I just don’t see Richt as the kind of guy who needs to write notes on his hand when he recruits . How’d he get AJ or Stafford or any other big recruit if he’s that disorganized?

    If you have the choice of Caleb or Berry, though, who would you take? I’d take Berry every day and twice on Sunday. He is truly a monster, probably the best defensive player in the country. Certainly the best safety.


    • Will Q

      There were quite a few stories from a year or two back about how Richt writes notes on his hands all the time. He said the same thing when he made an appearance in my hometown back in 2008. He calls them his “palm pilot.”

      Berry’s comments about it make me wonder if he got pissed if his teachers couldn’t remember his name the first time they met him.


  6. We simply missed Berry, plain and simple. King has been overrated since his soph. season and Berry has been knocking heads the whole time.


  7. RedCrake

    Lane woke up yesterday and realized that he hadn’t really pissed Richt off yet. His plan was incomplete…he might actually win an SEC game.

    Thus “Operation Berry Bomb” was born.


  8. Jeff Ostenson

    David Hale made a good point regarding the “writing on the hand” issue…

    “and while it seems to have upset Berry, this quote made me laugh out loud:

    “I remember when I went on my recruiting visit, coach (Mark) Richt had my name and stats written on his hand. I guess he thought I didn’t see it or something, but I did.”

    Every Thursday during the season, Richt holds an informal meeting with reporters. Before one of those meetings last year, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas had paid Richt a visit. Richt then came upstairs to talk to reporters, sitting in a chair right next to me. As he discussed his excitement over meeting Thomas, I looked down at his hand. Printed on it in smudged blue ink was this:

    Clarence Thomas
    Supreme Court
    1:30 “


    • Dog in Fla

      Rumor has it that before Bama last year, Nick saw this written in smudged black ink on Richt’s hand during pre-game handshake:

      1 ‘n done
      Wear black
      Nick thinks funeral?


  9. X-Dawg

    Maybe Berry is just trying to rationalize why he decided to go to such a suck@$$ school over UGA.


  10. Another example of why I hate recruiting and all the stupid coverage it gets.


  11. I could almost interpret these as statements from a player who’s bitterness towards not being a ‘Dawg exceeds his excitment for being a Vol. But that’s understandable.


  12. joe blow

    He said similar things during his recruiting visits/ post interviews.

    The truth was that he was known to be recruiting FOR UT during visits to UGA.

    This is simply more of the same. Nothing new here.


  13. Left to Right

    It’s impossible to believe Richt didn’t know who Berry was or what position he played.

    Berry is just putting stuff out there because that’s the way his new HC rolls. He’ll look like a fool in a couple of years for trying to help out Kiffin.


  14. Hobnail_Boot

    Gee, you think someone realizes that things aren’t so sunny now that you-know-who is running the asylum?


  15. Jon Dwyer said the same thing. Said the coach’s were so in love with C.King that he was barely shown any attention in comparison


  16. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    Berry is a stud, but in 2007 UGA had a former 5 star recruit that was the #1 rated safety in the 2006 class. He was coming off a red shirt year — Reshad Jones.

    One would imagine that the coaches felt their chances of landing Berry were slim given …

    1) His dad played for UT
    2) Reshad Jones

    All of this seems to be a motivational ploy for Berry to amp himself up — the they didn’t respect me card.