Jaamal Berry's performances on the combine circuit this spring have propelled him to 5-star status on Scout.com. After showing his speed and explosiveness at the combine in Miami, Berry showed that he is one of the best running backs in the nation. While no new offers have come through over the last week or so, schools are starting to visit the talented playmaker's school.
"I haven't gotten any new offers lately. I haven't counted my offers but I think I am around 25 now. I'm pretty happy where I'm at with it. I've been talking to Southern Cal and Miami for a while but they still haven't offered me yet."
"But today (Monday) some schools came by to watch us practice. Today was the first day in pads, so it was exacting to feel the intensity again. It feels good to be out there setting the expectations for next year. USF and West Virginia were out there watching us. I didn't get a chance to speak to them though."
There has been internet gossip going around stating that Jaamal is close to making a commitment to Ohio State. He says that while that is not the case, he did have a great time on his recent visit.
"The visit to Ohio State was great. I liked everything about it. They are like a big family and they have a lot of tradition. Going into the visit I wasn't favoring them to a point of committing, and I am still open, but there was nothing I didn't like about the school. I went up there with some teammates and my 7-on-7 coach so we all had a blast."
"I'd say that Ohio State is one of my top schools because of the visit. I got to meet the coaches and I got to tour the campus. They showed me around and answered the questions that I had. They told me they love my film and think I am one of the best in the nation. They like my speed, size and power."
Florida State has been a school that has come after Berry pretty hard. The Seminoles have Jaamal listed as one of their top targets at running back, and they hope to get him in on a visit some time soon.
"I talked to Coach Coley today over email. I am going to go up there soon for a visit. It just has to be the right time. I need to talk it over with my mom and my mentor on when I can get up there, but I plan on visiting sometime soon. Coach Coley says that they like me as a player and a person and that they can't wait to meet me in person. The coaches at FSU think I can make a major impact on the next level and that they'd love to have me on their team. I've been trying to talk to Coach Amato but we've been on opposite schedules with my spring practice and all."
"Overall I am still looking at Florida State. They have great tradition and they always send guys to the NFL. They have good academics, and they are a school that I want to learn more about. I know after Antone Smith they really don't have much and that I can go there and make the impact I want to make. I like that there is a chance for me to see a lot of time on the field as a freshman."
Jaamal was supposed to visit Florida and Florida State's spring game on April 12th, but he wasn't able to make the trek up to Tallahassee. He said that the visit to Florida went well, and that he liked how they run a lot.
"The spring game at Florida was cool. They were running the ball a lot and use the quarterback-running back option stuff a lot. It looks like they are trying to use the running back more."
The recent move to 5-star status has Berry excited, but for him it shows that he must continue to work hard on maintaining that prestigious honor.
"Being moved to a 5-star was exciting. I've worked really hard since the start of my junior season and into these camps and combines. It shows me that it paid off. I don't want to say that I am surprised by it because I have the fastest 40 time in the nation right now. But I am going to work hard still and I plan on having a break-out senior season. Last year my offensive line was all 1st year starters, so now they are a year older. I am aiming for at least 1,800 yards and 20 scores. I think I'll be able to get more because this is a big year for our team."
Jaamal is still pretty open in the process, but the visit to Ohio State made an impact. FSU must get the Jaamal on campus for a visit to remain in the game for him. The positive thing is that Jaamal has built a good relationship with James Coley, and they offer a chance to see the field sooner rather than later. Once he gets a visit and learns more about the Noles, FSU should become more of a player for Berry. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Jaamal and the rest of the 2009i recruiting class.