"I like that responsibility, to be honest with you," he said recently. "I like being the face of Tennessee but I like representing my school well. That's the main thing."
Being a role model for young UT fans comes easily for Berry. He was setting a good example for children long before he earned consensus All-America honors as a Vol last December.
"I've always had that role - being with my brothers and having to set an example for them - showing how to act, how not to act," said Berry, who has two younger brothers. "I had to grow up fast as a youngster, so I guess I'm kind of mature beyond my years."
Berry may be mature for his age but he still feels like a kid at Christmas when football season approaches each year. His face literally beams when he talks about the anticipation he feels.
"I can't think about the season too much or I start getting butterflies and my stomach will start turning," he said, grinning broadly. "You can tell it's getting closer because baseball is winding down a little bit."
After being limited by a shoulder injury in spring practice, Berry is especially eager for the 2009 season.
"I'm so excited for the season," he said. "It's been a long time (since he was able to go full-speed). I didn't play spring ball, so I'm very anxious just to get to camp.
"That's a big deal."
So is being a quality role model. Eric Berry understands that.