June 27, 2008

Berry back in action

There are plenty of pressures that surround a player as they are going through their college recruitment. Phone calls at all hours, the necessity to keep their edge in the weight room and on the track and the hundreds upon hundreds of questions that come from every angle until national signing day. For Miami (Fla.) Palmetto high school running back Jaamal Berry all of that was put on hold for a brief respite but now the 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back is back into his usual routine.

"I just got back from Jamaica," Berry said. "I was just hanging out with my dad because he lives there and I never spend time with him. So I was spending time with him but I really couldn't lift any weights or train anything so when I got back I had to hit the weight room and running hard now. I just started so I have to get back on track for a good season," Berry said.

Even four star athletes have a little problem when they get back into the weight room after any sort of time away.

"Yeah, I am real sore," Berry joked.

In a couple of weeks Berry is going to have to be ready to take his show on the road when he and several other top south Florida stars make a swing through the South to check out a handful of schools

"(We are going to look at) Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina and I think there might be one more," Berry said.

At some point after that Berry wants to head north and take a look around including one school that always seems to be at the top of his list.

"I am also trying to plan a trip to Ohio State sometime next month," Berry said. "And then from Ohio State I am just going to drive to Pittsburgh and West Virginia since they are in the same (general) area."

There had been some talk that good friend Vladimir Emilien was supposed to join Jaamal on the trip to Columbus but Berry is really not sure where that stands at this point.

"I haven't talked to Vlad lately," Berry said.

Berry has paid close attention to how the Ohio State recruiting class has taken off in recent weeks and seen the numbers swell to 23 commits at this point.

"It is like crazy," Berry said. "It's a great school and I wouldn't doubt all these guys (committing) because it was a great place when I went up there. Everything was a ten and everything was great."

The Rivals100 running back also watched Naples (Fla.) running back Carlos Hyde commit to the Buckeyes as well. Is the addition of another running back to the class a red flag or even a cause for concern to Berry?

"Not really because there are great backs everywhere around the country," Berry said. "They are going to choose where they think is best for them and what is the perfect fit for them. It is not really like a big factor to me because anywhere you go you are going to have competition and are going to compete for a spot so I don't think it is a big factor for me."

Berry is still very unclear on how he would like to see his timetable shake out for his recruitment. He has talked about taking official visits to Ohio State, Michigan, LSU and Ole Miss but in recruiting nothing is a definite at this point.

"I don't know if I can make my decision before then or after," Berry said. "I guess time will tell."

Last season as a junior Berry rushed for more than 1,000 yards in ten games and scored 14 touchdowns.

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