13-Year-Old Volunteers For University of Tennessee Football Team

Evan Berry wants to follow in his brother's footsteps

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Watch out Evan Berry, this kid already plans on breaking your records at Tennessee.

    Media coverage of college football recruiting may be getting a bit out of hand. There's a report out of Knoxville that Evan Berry, younger brother of All-American safety Eric Berry, has committed to follow in big bro's footsteps and play college ball for the University of Tennessee. 

    Nothing odd about that, except for the fact that Evan hasn't played one down of high school football yet. He's 13 years old and doesn't start high school until the fall, but he's not letting that stop him from declaring his recruitment over. As the youngster explains, Tennessee had a big advantage over other schools.

    "It's the only college I know right now and it seems the best for me," Evan Berry, 13, told Rivals.com, which first reported the story. "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 don't know them too well, but I know I will have plenty of time to get to know them." 

    The rub with calling Berry's desire to play football at Tennessee a committment is that the word is completely misapplied. He's a 13-year-old kid who wants to play for the Vols this week. Next week he may want to be an astronaut, that doesn't mean that newspapers should start figuring out which flight to Mars he'll be on. Lane Kiffin isn't allowed to offer him a scholarship until his junior year of high school, so everyone should just slow down.  

    What 13-year-old wouldn't be afflicted with such delusions when there are reporters treating what he says as if it has a modicum of importance? The whole story is more of a commentary about those that report on and follow college football recruiting than it is about the kid, who doesn't really seem to be any different than any of his peers. 

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.