December 20, 2008

Berry switches to State

There was a reason East Mississippi Community College wide receiver Leon Berry waited a few extra days before signing a national letter of intent.

Berry committed to Southern Miss.six days ago but did not sign with the Golden Eagles on Wednesday. He instead changed his mind on a weekend visit to Mississippi State. The three-star standout inked with the Bulldogs and head coach Dan Mullen on Saturday morning.

"It's a great feeling," Berry said just minutes after signing. "I'm going to get a chance to play in the SEC and for a coach like Coach Mullen. He told me that he was going to run the same offense they did at Florida and I feel like I will really fit into it."

Berry was all set to sign with the Golden Eagles but EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens advised him to wait because he might receive an offer from a Southeastern Conference program. So when Berry received a call from Mullen earlier this week he jumped at the chance to come visit the Starkville campus.

"I committed to Southern Miss because they were the biggest school to offer me," Berry said. "But it's always been a dream of mine to play in the SEC."

Berry is from Griffin, Ga., but has spent the past two seasons in Scooba playing for the Lions. Berry led EMCC both seasons in receiving yards and receptions.

This past season Berry pulled down 39 catches for 661 yards and five touchdowns. He continued to be one of the most dangerous return men in JUCO football returning 19 kickoffs for 485 yards and a touchdown. He also returned 10 punts for 129 yards and a touchdown

As a freshman he led EMCC with 342 receiving yards on 20 catches (17.1 yards per catch), including four touchdown grabs. But, it was his impressive returns that garnered him 2007 NJCAA All-Region 23 First Team and MACJC All-State First Team honors. He averaged 26.7 yards on 24 kickoff returns as a freshman, including a 90-yard touchdown.

Berry said his mom was a fan of him staying in the Magnolia State.

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