Miami [Florida] Palmetto star tailback Jamaal Berry is causing quite a stir in recruiting circles. Berry has accumulated an impressive scholarship list already and is hearing from most of the top programs in the country.
"Recruiting is going great right now," Berry said. "I have a lot of offers and I'm hearing from a lot of great schools. It's hard to put together a list of favorites. I have offers from Florida, LSU, Mississippi, Florida State, Auburn, and a lot more. I'm really enjoying the recruiting process so far."
Berry has also been in contact with Ohio State. He admits to wanting a Buckeye offer and feels it is forthcoming.
"Ohio State is one of the schools I'm very interested in," Berry stated. "Coach [Paul] Haynes and I have spoken a lot recently. Coach Haynes said they love my tape and I need to get in touch with him this week to see if they will be offering soon. He told me they want to bring in two tailbacks next year and I'm in the mix for them. Ohio State was on spring break when they first got my tape and I haven't called them back yet. I will probably call them in the next day or so. They told me there is a 90% chance they will offer me and I'm really hoping they do."
Berry is also planning a trip to Columbus in the near future. He will be attending the Ohio State spring game with some of the top players from the state of Florida.
"I have my ticket already and I'm looking forward to seeing everything Ohio State has to offer," Berry admitted. "I'm very interested in Ohio State. I wouldn't be paying my own way to see them if I wasn't. Leaving the state of Florida to go to college is no big deal to me. When I fall in love with a school, then I'm going to go there. I want the best fit for my career and if that's Hawaii, that's where I will go."
Berry, 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, was timed at a 4.4 forty-yard time at last year's Miami Combine. He also ran a 4.35 at a local camp. He also runs track at Palmetto High, but speed is not the only defining characteristic of this great player.
"My speed is what I'm known for, but it's really hard to tackle me," Berry stressed. "I can make the first man miss and I'm very elusive in the open field. I'm a combination of power and speed. I can juke people or run them over. The defenses never know what's coming from me. I block well and I can catch the football real well also. I think I'm a good all-around back."
As one of the top recruits in Florida, Berry has a definite idea of the path he wants to follow in recruiting.
"I want to play for a great program, with a great coaching staff," he said. "That's what I'm really looking for in a college. I want to play with players who are committed to making their team the best it can be. I'm looking for a school where the football team is a big family, that does everything together. I'm looking for a school with a tradition of winning. I believe Ohio State fits these qualities. [Etienne] Sabino and I talked about what he liked about Ohio State and I'm looking forward to seeing him at the spring game. I might be staying with him that weekend. I know a lot of Florida kids like Ohio State because it's a great program. They're always playing in big games and their facilities are awesome. Their fans support the team like crazy and everybody talks about the game day atmosphere. When I come for the spring game I will be looking at how good the players are. I like competition, so I want to see what they have on the field. I want to see if Ohio State is a program I can picture myself playing in."
Jamaal Berry is a player we will continue to keep a close eye on in the coming months. We will have a future article detailing his feelings on his trip to Columbus.