August 6, 2010

Berry expanding his role

Leon Berry has only been at Mississippi State for one season but already he is the veteran receiver on the roster.

The senior has taken on a leadership role among the young Bulldog wideouts and is passing along the knowledge he gained last year.

"They've kind of put it in mine and Chad Bumphis' hands because we played a lot of snaps last year," Berry said. "We're veterans so we are trying to teach these young guys coming in the offense. It's kind of hard for them right now because it's a lot thrown at them."

Berry saw action in all 12 games in 2009 including three starts at wide receiver. He hauled in 14 passes for 170 yards on the year but primarily made his impact on special teams.

The six-foot, 205-pound set the school single-season record with 1,015 kickoff return yards and was the second most in SEC history. He averaged 26.7 yards per return which ranked 21st nationally and fourth in the conference. His longest of the season was a 89-yarder against Georgia Tech that he took back to the house. Berry also had another kickoff return for a score called back against Vanderbilt to open the game.

The Griffin, Ga., native also returned nine punts for 69 yards during his junior campaign.

As he enters his final season in Starkville, Berry hopes to provide more of an impact offensively for the Bulldogs.

"I think my role is going to expand," Berry said. "Obviously last year we had Brandon McRae who was a senior and I was behind him. My role wasn't too big but this year I'm kind of a veteran and the coaches are expecting me to make big plays this year so I'm going to try to do that for them."

Berry and the rest of his Bulldog teammates spent the summer under the watch of strength coach Matt Balis and his staff and feels the entire team is better because of it.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!