Lane Kiffin Tells Safety Eric Berry to Enter NFL Draft


Tennessee safety Eric Berry would be a top five pick if he were to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. His head coach, Lane Kiffin, has told Berry it is time to move on.

When Kiffin was speaking to the media today he said, “These may be the only conversations that I don’t recruit in is with these guys. It’s too important for them to make the right decision. This isn’t about me, it isn’t about Tennessee.

“This is about Eric and Eric’s family, and so I told Eric from my perspective that he’s done everything that he can do. If he wants to go, this is the time to go.”

Kiffin had some very high praise for Berry adding:

“Eric has played man-to-man coverage, we’ve blitzed him, he’s played back in the middle, he’s played halves, he’s played down, so to be able to do all those things and then also play on our special teams as many snaps as he has, he’s created a lot of draft value for himself,” Kiffin said. “I think as people look at him, when you evaluate safeties a lot of times, the majority of safeties can only play one spot. They can only play free or strong because of how they’re set up.

“He’s very unique because he can play free, he can play strong or he can play nickel corner, so I would think he would go extremely high – whenever he leaves.”

Berry is currently number No. 3 on the NFL Mocks Big Board and he is slated at the No. 5 spot in the latest mock draft. When asked about his future, he admitted that his mind is made up.

“It’s kind of made up, but right now I don’t want to get into that,” Berry said. “I want to focus on Virginia Tech and just deal with that right now.

“I really just wanted to make sure there was no stone unturned. I sat down with coach Kiffin and talked about it, sat down with my family, talked with some of my close teammates and friends about the whole situation. I wanted to make sure I weighed out every possible scenario and situation that could happen.”