Berry-ed in the depth chart

Junior running back Damien Berry during the game against FAMU. Alex Broadwell // The Miami Hurricane

Junior running back Damien Berry during the game against FAMU. Alex Broadwell // The Miami Hurricane

It’s time for junior running back Damien Berry to get some meaningful carries.

Berry, the 5’11,” 217-pound bruising back, has proven he needs to get a legitmate shot to play against meaningful opponents. Berry was a highly regarded safety coming out of Glades Central. Last year he moved to running back where he saw majority of his time helping Canes prepare for opponents on the scout team. He was named 2008 Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year.

Berry had his break-out performance in the spring game where he rushed for 114 yards on just 14 carries. He was named Spring Game MVP.

He patiently waited the first four games as the Canes played four top 25 teams.

Last week against Florida A&M, Berry made the most of his opportunity. He marched all over the Rattlers, accumlating 162 yards on 14 carries.

Let’s not forget Berry has a football pedigree too, as he is the son of Kenny Perry, a defensive back who played for UM from 1987-1989.

So what else does Berry have to do? When I asked head coach Randy Shannon Wednesday morning, he quite simply said “practice.”

Last year, former running back Shawnbrey McNeal transferred to Southern Methodist University after not seeing ample playing time. Let’s hope that does not happen to Berry.

After his performance Saturday night, the humble Berry credited the offensive line. Although they did a fantastic job, Berry made some electrifying runs as he eluded numerous tackles.

“Damien has done a good job all year,” Tommie Robinson, the running back coach, said. “He capitalized on his opportunity. If you are a football player, you are a football player. He is a good kid. And let me tell you, FAMU was one of the toughest teams we’ve played thus far. They have some athletes and what you see on paper is not always how it plays out on the field.”

So let’s not waste a valuable commodity. A dominant run game pushes the linebackers and safeties up and opens up the pass game. If Berry can implement himself in Mark Whipple’s dynamic offense, the sky will be the limit.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at

October 15, 2009


Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Berry-ed in the depth chart”

  1. Richard says:

    First of all I dont think Shawnbrey transferred because of playing time. He is a good friend of mine and I still talk to him to this day. He left because of family back home in Texas. If left because of playing time he would have to sit out a year and last I checked he is SMU leading rusher. Berry has alot of talent and I am friends with him too. I am glad to see him finally get carries. Hopefully he will get more carries in the near future. Berry isnt going anywhere. He bleeds Orange and Green just like his father did. The coaches know whats best for this team so when they know he is ready he will get his shot…

    Go Canes!!

  2. Liz says:

    While I definitely agree with that Berry may deserve more playing time, you shouldn’t imply that he might transfer. First of all, he’s a junior, so if he went to any other major program, he’d have to sit his last year of eligibility. Second of all – he’s being very smart to keep his head down and take advantages of the situations that are given him. James is a senior and on his last year of eligibility and one has to assume that there’s a good change Cooper may decide to leave early. Even if Cooper stays, Berry will likely assume James’ role of sharing carries – so why would he think of leaving? Berry knows his time is coming, and when it does, it seems like he’ll be ready. I think the fact that he’s worked hard and stayed dedicated this long shows some real character, as opposed to certain other people who transferred when they realized how hard they’d have to work to get playing time for a team like the Miami Hurricanes.

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