Berry still has bad taste from last season

Eric Berry is ready to get this season underway. The Heisman Canidate spoke to the Tennessee media Tuesday, answering a lot of different questions about him and his team. Berry has never been one to back down from a challenge, he explained when he first hurt his shoulder and spoke on how healthy his today. Go "Inside" for the latest.

It's easy to see why the University of Tennessee and Lane Kiffin is supporting Eric Berry for the Heisman trophy.

His competitive spirit with his leadership capabilities it's an obvious choice. It's also obvious how important he is to his team's success.

Berry spoke to the media here Tuesday.

A humble well spoken young man, who loves the game of football, told the gathered group of writers how important this game is to him and his teammates this weekend.

"We are very eager to play our first game of the year," Berry said. "We all are a little anxious to get out on the field and see what this team is all about."

Berry was asked if there was any concern with his shoulder, the standout safety left no doubt about his condition.

"I haven't felt this good before I hurt it when I was 12 years old," Berry said. "I want to thank everyone that has been a part of my rehabilitation process and for them helping me to get back to 120 percent."

Did we hear you right? Did you say you first injured your shoulder when you were 12?

"Yes I was playing quarterback and running a power," Berry quickly remembered. "My father always taught me unless I was dying, I had to play. I don't let little things like that injury keep me from playing."

Berry is what coaches mean when they say leave it all out on the field.

The junior defender admitted he was a little nervous this fall when he took his first major hit on his shoulder.

"It was when Montario Hardesty broke on a big play," Berry said. "I ran him down and closed my eyes and just hit him. I got back up my shoulder was intact and I knew I was going to be great."

Berry also explained that this camp has tested his shoulder better than anything else he could have done.

"We have hit so much in camp," Berry said. "It's been hit from every angle. There is no concern with my shoulder. I'm good to go."

Berry spoke of Hardesty with a lot of admiration.

"We have been going at for a couple of years now," Berry admitted. "He is one of the best backs overall I have faced. He has made me the defender I am today."

With a Heisman trophy campaign in full swing, one might think that Berry and Coach Kiffin wants to preserve the stand out safety for the defensive side of the ball, apparently that won't stop him from playing special teams.

"I want to be the first one to run down the field and make plays for my team," Berry responded after being asked about playing on special teams. "We will have a lot of starters out there. Special teams are very important and we want to do what we can to make sure we win a lot of ballgames."

This team along with Berry seems to have something on their mind from last year's season.

"We have a bad taste in our mouths about how things ended last year," Berry said. We have something to prove to a lot of people and to ourselves. We want to come out and make a statement; we plan on doing just that."

Berry is a young man that has never backed down to a challenge; he isn't ready to start now.

"We are ready to play," Berry said. "We love these coaches and we are ready to go to war with them. It's going to be a fun year."


Inside Tennessee Top Stories