Kiffin says Berry can run through 'T'

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Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said he would have no issues if All-American junior safety Eric Berry wants to run solo through the pre-game 'T' on Saturday, a designation usually held for seniors for the final home game.

Most believe Berry will forgo his final season of eligibility at UT and enter the NFL draft.

"I doubt he would want that," Kiffin said Wednesday. "He actually always wants to be with us. Even the last game. I didn't even know it until the last second, he didn't go out for the coin toss because he wanted to come out with the guys."

Practice Report: Kiffin was pleased with Wednesday's practice.

"We had a lot of energy for whatever reason," he said. "Very competitive there at the end. We turned a half-padded practice into a live one there at the end. So it's great to see that energy this late in the season."

Half And Half: Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore hobbled through four weeks, then appeared to turn the corner the next.

Over the next five games the UT wide receivers have been healthy, and not coincidentally, among the most productive tandems in the SEC.

"I don't remember exactly the stats, but look at the first four games of the year when Denarius and Gerald are banged up," Kiffin said. "Sometimes they're not playing, sometimes they're playing hurt, then they get healthy and look what they've done since then."

The production of late is even more impressive considering the slow start each of them had after battling injuries at the end of fall camp.

Jones didn't even play in the opener against Western Kentucky and Moore had just one catch for four yards. Heading into the fifth game against Auburn, they had combined for just eight catches, half of them by Moore against Ohio.

The breakout for Jones would come the next week in a loss to the Tigers, and since then they've exploded. Jones has 23 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns, Moore has at least three grabs in every game and Crompton has vaulted up the passing charts as a result.

"They're as productive as any duo in the SEC with what they've done over the last five games," Kiffin said.

Bowling: A representative from the Chik-fil-A Bowl will be at Saturday's game against Vanderbilt, according to a press release from the Atlanta-based bowl.

If the Vols win their last two games, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. and the Chick-fil-A are thought to be UT's most likely bowl destinations.

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Comments » 118

mercuryvol writes:

The best safety I've seen in college since Jack (Assassin) Tatum @ OSU. But we'll miss his leadership as much as his play.

volhome writes:

I sure hope this does not mean that he would be called out as a departing senior. That is a privilege for players that are seniors. If, however, he is in line to graduate early, it is a different matter. Players that have been with the program three years but have graduated could be afforded that option, if they know they are not going to return.

Let's face it, only with sports is this an issue. Let's assume that a third year player was finishing a Business Degree and had a job offer starting in March. I doubt that they would be given this chance. But since it's all about 'the game', football players going to the NFL we could bend the rule to accomodate.

I don't like the precedent, and hope that Eric will think about what this means for everyone that played before and will play after he is gone. The final Run Through the T is for seniors. IMHO.

mercuryvol writes:

in response to volhome:

I sure hope this does not mean that he would be called out as a departing senior. That is a privilege for players that are seniors. If, however, he is in line to graduate early, it is a different matter. Players that have been with the program three years but have graduated could be afforded that option, if they know they are not going to return.

Let's face it, only with sports is this an issue. Let's assume that a third year player was finishing a Business Degree and had a job offer starting in March. I doubt that they would be given this chance. But since it's all about 'the game', football players going to the NFL we could bend the rule to accomodate.

I don't like the precedent, and hope that Eric will think about what this means for everyone that played before and will play after he is gone. The final Run Through the T is for seniors. IMHO.

Respect your opinion,but he's "given his all for Tennessee" and I think he deserves the honor.Some are 5th yr, some 4th yr but I'd hate to deny the guys that are leaving this chance.

Hunter writes:

in response to volhome:

I sure hope this does not mean that he would be called out as a departing senior. That is a privilege for players that are seniors. If, however, he is in line to graduate early, it is a different matter. Players that have been with the program three years but have graduated could be afforded that option, if they know they are not going to return.

Let's face it, only with sports is this an issue. Let's assume that a third year player was finishing a Business Degree and had a job offer starting in March. I doubt that they would be given this chance. But since it's all about 'the game', football players going to the NFL we could bend the rule to accomodate.

I don't like the precedent, and hope that Eric will think about what this means for everyone that played before and will play after he is gone. The final Run Through the T is for seniors. IMHO.

If that same Business major had a job offer that would pay him millions a year, he'd be an idiot not to take it, then come back and finish his degree IF it was a prudent business decision. If I were a major prospect (and a bullfrog had wings), I'd leave for the money and never look back. Ask Sam Bradford.

VolFanFtl writes:

in response to mercuryvol:

Respect your opinion,but he's "given his all for Tennessee" and I think he deserves the honor.Some are 5th yr, some 4th yr but I'd hate to deny the guys that are leaving this chance.

I agree with you. This young man is the most unselfish player I have ever seen. He has done whatever this new coaching staff has asked him to do - at the detriment of his own numbers.
Berry is a class ask and there is no way, we as a fan base, could ever thank him properly enough.

Voluvr writes:

ONE MORE YEAR! ONE MORE YEAR!

caverunner writes:

in response to deerbedar1717:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Although, and selfishly I must admit, I would love to see EB return for his senior year. Honestly, don't do it Eric! Yes it would be nice if you break the record, but in the hearts of the vol faithful you will always be considered one of the best to ever play your position. Its not worth the risk though. There is nothing to prove, and everything to loose. If you get hurt on the first play of the first game or the last play of the last game, it could forever end your dreams of playing in the NFL. Thanks for wearing the Orange and playing with heart and desire. Get out while you're still healthy and let us enjoy watching you play on Sundays! GO VOLS!!!

colt writes:

Berry would fit in great with the Colts and Peyton. Just dreaming.

LiveFaith writes:

in response to colt:

Berry would fit in great with the Colts and Peyton. Just dreaming.

On offense!

Reason writes:

He shouldn't run through the T, he isn't a senior.

nightprowler writes:

in response to Reason:

He shouldn't run through the T, he isn't a senior.

you are so right. he has not earn the right to yet.

keepitreal4vols writes:

in response to volhome:

I sure hope this does not mean that he would be called out as a departing senior. That is a privilege for players that are seniors. If, however, he is in line to graduate early, it is a different matter. Players that have been with the program three years but have graduated could be afforded that option, if they know they are not going to return.

Let's face it, only with sports is this an issue. Let's assume that a third year player was finishing a Business Degree and had a job offer starting in March. I doubt that they would be given this chance. But since it's all about 'the game', football players going to the NFL we could bend the rule to accomodate.

I don't like the precedent, and hope that Eric will think about what this means for everyone that played before and will play after he is gone. The final Run Through the T is for seniors. IMHO.

I hope he runs thru the T wearing a black jersey and flip flops just to piss you off. If he has made his decision to leave early, then I would love the chance to say farewell. I think all players before and after him would give him their blessings after all he has done for this program. I hope you were not mad at Peyton for leading the band in playing Rocky Top even though that role is reserved for the drum major.

Go to the NFL Eric Berry and cash that paycheck. Unless the Raiders get the 1st pick and then I would stay 1 more year.

Orangeyouavol writes:

in response to Reason:

He shouldn't run through the T, he isn't a senior.

He's got more heart than most of the seniors on this team. He deserves it!

pikavol writes:

"I hope you were not mad at Peyton for leading the band in playing Rocky Top even though that role is reserved for the drum major."

Peyton stayed his four years and ran through the "T".

EB, come back only if you think we have a real shot at an SEC title. Peyton got it his senior year. If you think you can help us get there, we'd more than love to have you. Otherwise I will cheer for you on Sundays like I have on Saturdays.

Let the Seniors have their day. We can say goodbye to you after you break the record.

bloodrunsorange writes:

in response to Hunter:

If that same Business major had a job offer that would pay him millions a year, he'd be an idiot not to take it, then come back and finish his degree IF it was a prudent business decision. If I were a major prospect (and a bullfrog had wings), I'd leave for the money and never look back. Ask Sam Bradford.

Seniors run through the “T” on Senior Day. A FOOTBALL senior is a player that is in his 4th year of his FOOTBALL eligibility. So you’re saying Peyton Manning and his integrity (staying at UT to keep his word, finish out his eligibility, and help the team that got him in the situation he was in) were wrong in not taking the draft and pro money by deserting his team after his third year of eligibility? IMO it seems Eric Berry has the same questions presented to him as Peyton had presented to him. IMO sometimes making the choice of helping all those around you instead of thinking of only yourself is hard but you can ask any soldier protecting our country and your freedoms which is really the correct choice in the long run. BERRY IS BETTER THAN WOODSON AND SHOULD HAVE THE CHANCE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL FOR US TO HELP HIM TO PROVE IT. Maybe Simms will try and right the wrong that he did concerning Manning and the Heisman and push for Eric Berry.

NoogaVol55 writes:

JMO, but running through the T on Senior Day should be reserved for SENIORS. I love EB and all he has given UT, but if he wants to run the through the T solo, he needs to come back as a senior. Go Vols!

golfballs03 writes:

As much as I love Eric Berry... I think that should be a privilege reserved for seniors.

dvols writes:

he can just run through Vandy's offense!

sitinhere writes:

in response to h8ag8r:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No not the PATS! ANYTHING BUT THE PATS. Shoot, I would rather see him go to Oakland than the PATS

crimsonviper writes:

Mornin' Big.If the Vols get invite to Chick-Fil-A
bowl are you going to it?
Intensity wise EB reminds me of Ronnie Lott.IMO

volfan_in_mississippi writes:

in response to bloodrunsorange:

Seniors run through the “T” on Senior Day. A FOOTBALL senior is a player that is in his 4th year of his FOOTBALL eligibility. So you’re saying Peyton Manning and his integrity (staying at UT to keep his word, finish out his eligibility, and help the team that got him in the situation he was in) were wrong in not taking the draft and pro money by deserting his team after his third year of eligibility? IMO it seems Eric Berry has the same questions presented to him as Peyton had presented to him. IMO sometimes making the choice of helping all those around you instead of thinking of only yourself is hard but you can ask any soldier protecting our country and your freedoms which is really the correct choice in the long run. BERRY IS BETTER THAN WOODSON AND SHOULD HAVE THE CHANCE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL FOR US TO HELP HIM TO PROVE IT. Maybe Simms will try and right the wrong that he did concerning Manning and the Heisman and push for Eric Berry.

There is no way you can compare his decision to Peyton's. Peyton did not have to worry about his family. They did not need his NFL contract as they already had millions. Eric's family could benefit from his contract. So if he leaves early, he is considering those around him....his family. So to imply that for him to leave early is the selfish decision is just wrong.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

If he has earned more than 90 credit hours, then he is a Senior. If he has gone the minimum 12 hours a semester and gone through summer school continually, he'd be at 84 hours. Two more classes puts him over the hump. Something tells me he has done more than that. If he has over 90, and he's going to leave, then yes he should be eligible to run through the T. The biggest question is if he's going to do it.

crimsonviper writes:

LOL at you Big about your commander.
I rule this roost.I run this show and she knows it.
uh-oh, I think she is awake. I gotta go do the dishes...Later bud.

Pdiddy10 writes:

in response to Reason:

He shouldn't run through the T, he isn't a senior.

yeah your right, the best defensive player of the year shouldnt...

beef4davols writes:

I get that it is a senior thing...but would you rather not have the chance to show some appreciation to one of the best we have ever seen in Neyland on what will probably be the last chance to see him play in person for a lot of us? I know I would get a lot more out of that than watching the 15 walk on practice team members I have never heard of run through the 'T'. Just an FYI Joey Matthews ran through on Senior day as a red shirt Junior and nobody seemed to care (or notice).

beef4davols writes:

Actually, Joey Matthews may not have red shirted, but he knew he wasn't playing his fourth year of eligibility and was allowed to run through the 'T' on Senior Day...I guess Fulmer hated tradition too.

rockytop4ever writes:

in response to Orangeyouavol:

He's got more heart than most of the seniors on this team. He deserves it!

That may be true but EB14 is a not a senior and nobody is bigger than the program and the UT traditions. Not Peyton. Not Berry. Not anyone. And I love watching this man play as much as anyone. EB14 is THE most talented player to come through here in years there is no doubt about that. Does that really give him the right to break a tradition?...I think not.

Chartervol writes:

in response to beef4davols:

I get that it is a senior thing...but would you rather not have the chance to show some appreciation to one of the best we have ever seen in Neyland on what will probably be the last chance to see him play in person for a lot of us? I know I would get a lot more out of that than watching the 15 walk on practice team members I have never heard of run through the 'T'. Just an FYI Joey Matthews ran through on Senior day as a red shirt Junior and nobody seemed to care (or notice).

That final solo run through the T is not just to salute the stars, but especially to say thanks to those 15 walk on practice team members who gave it up for the school and the program, even though we never heard their names. That's the true meaning of the word Volunteer. That one moment is their payoff, and I'm always proud to tip my hat to them.

ETNTigerFan writes:

in response to h8ag8r:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Titans!! that would be awesome

layoffthevolteam writes:

Born in Tennessee will be buried in Chickamauga
field Tenn Ga cemetary looks like we have become
the Accusers(Coach does not care about tradition?)Do you think this man is about money?
He is special lets enjoy him and his storied
father. I have two sons what a joy @ any place
if I could work for them and sport them.
Next Whinners al the post or most ---post are
whinning. Drop the "H" men its winning!!!!!!!!.
I got off VOlQuest cause it was everthing from
Atlanta Braves to Playboy/ LEts be the VOLS...

iowavol writes:

in response to Hunter:

If that same Business major had a job offer that would pay him millions a year, he'd be an idiot not to take it, then come back and finish his degree IF it was a prudent business decision. If I were a major prospect (and a bullfrog had wings), I'd leave for the money and never look back. Ask Sam Bradford.

Oh, there is a precendent for what you are saying. His name is Bill Gates and it has worked out pretty good for him. Although I don't know he actually went back and finished his degree.

vol88 writes:

It should be reserved for seniors.

topgun writes:

As a voting member of the UTK alumni, I say not only can Eric run thru the "T," he can coach, lead the band, do a cheer with the cheerleaders, and be the public announcer if he wants to. Way too much BS on this "seniors-only" thing. Some players are grad students for god's sake. So....exactly what are you referencing your "senior" qualification on??

Eric has been a great VOL, and always will be. But, only extremely selfish persons would want him to stay at UT when he has greater things in his future and the NFL money. For a mulitude of reasons, he should turn pro. If you want to see him play, just watch the pro team he signs with.

God speed and good luck to you EB. Proud to have you as a fellow VOL.

GOVOLS!! Hope everyone likes chicken sandwiches or "bloomin' onions."

roloyo writes:

in response to ETNTigerFan:

Titans!! that would be awesome

Unfortunately, Bud's not that smart.(but he's still No. 1 to me) Come to think of it, neither is Fisher

TommyJack writes:

in response to golfballs03:

As much as I love Eric Berry... I think that should be a privilege reserved for seniors.

I agree with Balls.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Always have to slam the program and Kiffin don't you? You're just a Kiffin hater, there's nothing he could do to ever elicit a positive comment from you. You have no credibility on these boards.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Let's not overlook the importance of Moore and Jones emergence this season and what it means for next season. Whoever wins the qb job next year will have at least two receivers he knows he can count on. That is a big difference from early this year, when Crompton had zero receivers he could count on. It will help the qb play well right out of the chute next year immensely.

TommyJack writes:

It's a tradition for SENIORS. You young whippersnappers don't know SQUAT about tradition. They don't call it junior/senior day. It's for SENIORS...This ain't a cold fusion equation. Good Grief!!!

RTB writes:

This year, the Chick-Fil-A bowl seems like a fitting end to the season. But we need six wins to be bowl eligible. And yes, I admit I am still sore after last year's loss to Kentucky.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

It's a tradition for SENIORS. You young whippersnappers don't know SQUAT about tradition. They don't call it junior/senior day. It's for SENIORS...This ain't a cold fusion equation. Good Grief!!!

While I'm not disagreeing with you...would even TJ have the stones to tell EB he couldnt?

BAFLETCHER writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not sure that it was a tradition before Doug Dickey became head coach.

BeRealistic writes:

in response to topgun:

As a voting member of the UTK alumni, I say not only can Eric run thru the "T," he can coach, lead the band, do a cheer with the cheerleaders, and be the public announcer if he wants to. Way too much BS on this "seniors-only" thing. Some players are grad students for god's sake. So....exactly what are you referencing your "senior" qualification on??

Eric has been a great VOL, and always will be. But, only extremely selfish persons would want him to stay at UT when he has greater things in his future and the NFL money. For a mulitude of reasons, he should turn pro. If you want to see him play, just watch the pro team he signs with.

God speed and good luck to you EB. Proud to have you as a fellow VOL.

GOVOLS!! Hope everyone likes chicken sandwiches or "bloomin' onions."

Very good statement. EB will improve any NFL team's secondary. He's more than ready for the next level. Just hope he doesn't get seriously injured in the last 2 or 3 games.

seventysevenvol writes:

I might see the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at 7-5, but not the Outback Bowl. Maybe I'm missing something but I'm thinking more Music City Bowl or Liberty Bowl. Then again it's more about revenue from fan base than deserving the spot via accomplishment...not a dig, the truth.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to colt:

Berry would fit in great with the Colts and Peyton. Just dreaming.

He won't last nearly long enough in the draft for the Colts to have a chance at him unless they trade up in the draft order. On the other hand, since it is beginning to look like safety Bob Sanders, their defensive spiritual leader, may be about washed up with his injuries, the Colts might think it worth their while to trade up to get Berry.

One thing those people should know who are still wishing for Berry to stay is that the NFL draft will undergo a MAJOR change in 2011 that will result in players drafted that year to make WAY less on their initial contract than players picked in the same order in 2010 would make. I'm talking MILLIONS of dollars less for those drafted in 2011. Anybody who thinks that is a smart business decision for a guy with three minor siblings and two unemployed parents is just NUTS.

TommyJack writes:

in response to gnm53108:

While I'm not disagreeing with you...would even TJ have the stones to tell EB he couldnt?

Sure....by email.

chargervol writes:

He is not a Senior. Analyst say 4th pick, first round= Tampa Bay. Anywho, GO VOLS!!!

gnm53108 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Sure....by email.

Hehe...be sure to change your name to something with dc in it.

chargervol writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

Always have to slam the program and Kiffin don't you? You're just a Kiffin hater, there's nothing he could do to ever elicit a positive comment from you. You have no credibility on these boards.

He is an Aladama fan! GO VOLS!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bloodrunsorange:

Seniors run through the “T” on Senior Day. A FOOTBALL senior is a player that is in his 4th year of his FOOTBALL eligibility. So you’re saying Peyton Manning and his integrity (staying at UT to keep his word, finish out his eligibility, and help the team that got him in the situation he was in) were wrong in not taking the draft and pro money by deserting his team after his third year of eligibility? IMO it seems Eric Berry has the same questions presented to him as Peyton had presented to him. IMO sometimes making the choice of helping all those around you instead of thinking of only yourself is hard but you can ask any soldier protecting our country and your freedoms which is really the correct choice in the long run. BERRY IS BETTER THAN WOODSON AND SHOULD HAVE THE CHANCE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL FOR US TO HELP HIM TO PROVE IT. Maybe Simms will try and right the wrong that he did concerning Manning and the Heisman and push for Eric Berry.

Your orange blood is running to your head. Peyton's parents were already rich and famous; Berry's parents are unemployed and he has three younger siblings still living at home. There is NO comparison in the family situations of Peyton and Eric. Get real. Eric has already given us Vol fans more than we could reasonably expect from him. Don't hate a guy for wanting to take care of his family after all he has done for us.

TommyJack writes:

in response to gnm53108:

Hehe...be sure to change your name to something with dc in it.

??

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