Berry likes Vols even more after watching Georgia game

Eric Berry was in Athens last weekend to check out the Bulldogs. But Tennessee kept entering his mind.

"I love the way they fought back in the end," the highly touted prospect from Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., said of the Vols after their 51-33 victory over Georgia on Saturday. "I was impressed with how they played."

Likewise, talent scouts have been impressed with Berry, who plays quarterback and defensive back. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder will be officially invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Tuesday.

Berry is widely considered one of the top prospects in the nation. He said he is considering Southern Cal, Georgia, Ohio State, Auburn and UT.

"They’ve been showing me the most attention and the most love," Berry said of the final five.

Berry isn’t sure of his official visit itinerary, other than he’ll go to Auburn on Oct. 20. He said Knoxville is a definite destination but the date has yet to be set.

The other three suitors are also likely to get a stopover before he makes a decision in late January or February.

Berry has shown plenty of interest in the Vols. He took an unofficial visit to Knoxville on Sept. 16 for the Florida game, which UT lost in close fashion, 21-20. When combined with the Georgia showing, UT looks like a championship contender again. Berry said that helps the Vols — to some extent.

"That does help but even if they weren’t they’d probably still be up there," said Berry, whose father, James Berry, was a running back at UT from 1978 to 1981. His dad was a four-year letterman and a captain during his senior year.

Berry is complimentary of the way UT has recruited him. In particular, Berry said UT asked him what position he wanted to play in college and promised him a chance to play quarterback, his preferred position.

Berry said UT knows how to handle athletic quarterbacks, such as Heath Shuler and Brent Schaeffer.

Berry plays quarterback and safety in high school but is predicted to play cornerback in college by most recruiting analysts and college recruiters despite never having played the position.

"That’s kind of confusing," Berry said.

The Vols may want to send a thank you note to Georgia’s athletic department because, despite a trip to evaluate the ‘Dawgs, Berry came away impressed with UT.

"I knew it was going to be a good game," Berry said. "I didn’t know it was going to be like that."

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