Berry Growing Up In A Hurry

Mike Berry discusses his progress through the first week and a half of preseason practice.

Auburn, Ala.--In a freshman class loaded with highly recruited offensive skill position players, possibly the most pleasant surprise on that side of the ball through the first week and a half of practice is actually an offensive lineman.

"I think the only freshman (lineman) that's been standing out at all is Mike Berry," says Hugh Nall. "He's done some good things, but he's light years away. I'm excited about what I see with him and the next couple of years he'll be a good one."

With injuries to several players on the line, Berry has been forced to grow up in a hurry.

"My birthday was August 9th, so I just turned 18," he notes. "It's going good. It was a little hard at first, but I'm getting the hang of it. I'm coming along. Coach Nall has had me working at center, guard and tackle. It's a transition going from one to another, but he told me I've got great feet so I'm just working in there."

Berry gets some coaching from Hugh Nall during a recent practice.

The young freshman from Auburn pipeline Brentwood Academy in Tennessee has been getting reps with the first and second teams on offense despite coming into camp admittedly overweight.

"I probably need to get to 310," the 325-pounder says. "I'm a little overweight. I've gained weight during two-a-days which is kind of surprising to me. I'd say at least eight pounds. They feed us good over in Sewell (Hall).

"We eat three meals a day and it's required," Berry adds. "They've got us monitored, especially the ones on weight loss.

The additional weight Berry is carrying hasn't slowed him down so far. He has the footwork to play tackle and the strength to play inside. Berry says he doesn't know what his role will be on this year's team, but if continues to learn and progress like he has in the last week he will have a bright future in the Auburn football program.

"I think I'm doing pretty good and I'm still learning the plays," Berry says. "Coach Nall said once I get that down I'll be good to go."

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