OH LB Kyle Berger Plays Hoops, Talks U-M

Cleveland Saint Ignatius High 2014 linebacker Kyle Berger was in action on Saturday—on the basketball court. GBW, caught up with Berger afterwards, as he talked about his play, his recent visit to Michigan, his discussion with the Wolverine coaching staff, Jake Ryan comparisons, Ferns recruiting pitch, a decision timeline and more.***Video Interview Included***

Cleveland Saint Ignatius High 2014 linebacker Kyle Berger is rated the No. 3 prospect in the state of Ohio and says he's getting serious interest from Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Arkansas, UCLA and Michigan State.

At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Berger also starts for the Wildcat basketball team, and showcased his physical style of play in Saturday's Division I district final loss, 61-52, against Shaker Heights (Ohio).

"It was a tough one," he said afterwards. "It was just one of those days the ball couldn't get in the rim. We just came on the short end today. We played hard, but just couldn't put the ball in the basket."

On the recruiting front, Berger is rated the No. 2 outside linebacker in the latest Scout.com player rankings. His recruitment has heated up with a visit to University of Michigan last month.

"I enjoyed it," he explained. "I really like it. The coaches, I really love the coaches a lot. It felt like I connected with them and had a great time up there…I'll definitely be up there for a spring practice."

Berger says he's looking for a school with an outstanding pre-med program to help pursue his career as an orthopedic surgeon. Michigan Defensive Coordinator, Greg Mattison, had a special visitor to talk to Beger while on visit in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"When I went on my first visit, actually, coach (Greg) Mattison flew in Dr. Kyle Anderson, the Detroit Lions team doctor," Berger said. "I got to talk to him for about half hour. The next time I go I will look more at the medical school and stuff.

Mattison, also used the opportunity to showcase how the Wolverines would like to use Berger in their system. Mattison showed video of current U-M LB Jake Ryan (Saint Ignatius 10' graduate) and how the Maize and Blue would use Berger in the same fashion.

"It's great to know a guy like him wants me as his player and feels I can come in as a almost like fill in Jake Ryan's role, and it's cool to know that he likes that."

"I got to talk to Jake a little bit when I went up for my visit. We were watching film and coach Mattison was describing the same linebacker position to me and my parents. Jake got to come in and we talked to him for a little bit and so that was cool. I am actually pretty good friends with his younger brother Zach (Ryan), who plays at Ball State. I talk to him a lot too."

The first commit of Michigan's 2014 class was St. Clairsville High LB Michael Ferns, who has been doing his best recruiting attempt at landing Berger.

"He's pitching the whole medical program and it's a great academic and athletic school. That's pretty much been his big pitch to me," Berger said.

Besides academics, Berger said his relationship with college coaches is the most important.

"Definitely, I think the most important one is the coaching and how I connect with the coaches and how I see them coach," he explained. "The things I like about them as coaches for the guys."

As far as a decision timeline, Berger says he will make on before his senior season.

"I definitely want to get it done before my senior season. Before, I was thinking April or May. I still think it's around the time, maybe early summer. But it's definitely going to be before season. I don't want to have to worry about it and things like that during the season and calling these coaches and things like that."

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