What a difference a year makes.
Offering a scholarship to a random 13-year-old probably isn't the most prudent recruiting gamble, but in this case, Vols coach Lane Kiffin is doubling down on 11. Berry's father, James, was a star running back at Tennessee. Eric might be the nation's best collegiate safety. Evan has a twin brother, Elliot, who also could eventually climb on board.
"Yes, I committed to Tennessee," Evan told Jamie Newberg of Rivals.com. "It's the only college I know right now and it seems the best for me. My dad went there and my brother is there now. I know I can do the same things there. I have a real friendly relationship with the coaches there. I know I don't know them too well but I know I will have plenty of time to get to know them. I want to play in the secondary, and I want to play for coach [Monte] Kiffin."
Of course, there's no guarantee Evan Berry will ever run through the T. In 1998, Wake Forest offered a scholarship to eighth-grader Chris Leak. The Demon Deacons looked to be in pretty good shape. They had just signed Leak's older brother, C.J., but after C.J. injured his knee, he transferred to Tennessee. Chris, a frequent visitor to Knoxville after his brother's transfer, dropped the Vols because of a perceived slight against C.J. and wound up signing with Florida. Who was the crazy Wake Forest coach who offered young Chris Leak that scholarship? Only Jim Caldwell, the current head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
So, I guess it is OK if Kiffin did it for UT...but not USC?
Outrage sells papers...increases page views or click through's...but often it is hypocritical.
It makes no difference to me. The kid won't be eligible for 5 years...a lot can happen between now and then. There is no downside to this. The kid can go where he wants, if he chooses to stay with SC and is a bust he still gets the benefits of a USC education. That is something that is worth its weight in gold.
The answer is simple here...if this is such a problem the NCAA can make rules to guard against it. The NCAA likes rules as we all know so I am sure they will feel more than comfortable in writing a few more. The media and haters will continue to use Kiffin as a punching bag but if he wins the joke will be on them.
He is big boy he can handle it...