Hurricane Damien

The Miami Hurricane fans might not know much about 2007 commit Damien Berry who is strapping it up his senior year at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida, but they'll be quite happy to see this big time hitter hit the field next fall representing the "U".

Damien Berry, who transferred to Glades Central from Riviera Beach Suncoast, missed a lot of his junior year due to a torn ACL, but he's back in full strength and is excited about being a Raider, but thoughts of being a Hurricanes football player are certainly on his mind.

"Every since I was young I wanted to be a ‘Cane," Berry said. "When I get there I am going to show people what I do here every day."

Being a Hurricane is something that's been imbedded in him since he was a youngster as his father Kenny Berry played at the University of Miami in the late 80's.

And the passion brews within him on every play. He plays with the swagger that is a tradition in the University of Miami football program. He plays with the excitement that brings memories of Ed Reed, Bennie Blades and Sean Taylor.

Although the Raiders lost to Palm Beach Gardens 21-20 in a meaningless preseason classic Friday night in Belle Glade, Berry felt a lot of pain following the loss, even shedding a few tears.

So one might ask why would a player be in tears following a preseason loss, a game that essentially doesn't mean anything?

It's called passion and it's something Berry has plenty of.

All he could think about following the loss was that it was his first game played as a member of the Glades Central football team, one that is regarded as one of the best in the country. And it was a loss.

Following the game, he said he wanted to be a Raider so badly and his first game was a loss.

His passion was evident on the football field as even after getting hit in the groin after one play and suffering from a bit of a pulled groin according to his coaches, he consistently looked to take opponents' heads off.

But it's the type of passion that the Raiders fans will love this season, the type of passion he is going to bring this Saturday to Duncan, South Carolina, when Glades Central will face Byrnes High School, the nation's sixth ranked team.

"I can't guarantee anything, but I am going to guarantee that this defense is going to be right," Berry said.

Berry has the passion that the University of Miami looks for, the passion that makes champions.

But Berry isn't simply a safety who will decapitate ball carriers. He's the Glades Central starting running back. Against Palm Beach Gardens, he carried the ball five times for 50 yards.

"I'll play wherever they want me to play. If they need me on defense, I'll play defense. If it's offense, I'll play offense," Berry said. "My worst position is off the field."

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

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