This week, I caught up with former Mountaineer DT, Scooter Berry, and asked him five quick questions about his life in Morgantown, what he thinks of the current Mountaineer coaching mess, about the NFL Draft and subsequently going undrafted, and about his blog. Berry started a blog on IconSports360.com where he talks about his experience as an undrafted rookie during the NFL Lockout. With the labor situation, NFL teams are not allowed to contact undrafted players, leaving rookies like Berry and Noel Devine in a state of flux. I'll let Berry tell you what to expect out of his blog. Judging from the first entry, and from what I know, it should be very interesting.
Berry came to Morgantown out of North Babylon HS on Long Island along with his half-brother, Jason Gwaltney. Berry redshirted in 2006 but went on to earn Freshman All-American honors from Rivals.com and collegefootballnews.com following his redshirt-freshman season. He earned All-Big East second team honors during his sophomore season, but was slowed following shoulder surgery during his junior year when he moved from DE to DT. Berry finished his Mountaineer career after the Champs Sports Bowl loss to N.C. State with 110 total tackles (49 solo) and 5 sacks. Four of those sacks came during his senior year, the one full season that he played on the interior defensive line.
Going into the NFL Draft, among the teams that Berry was able to work out for were his hometown N.Y. Jets and Giants. There was the thought that one of those teams could possibly use a late-round selection on Berry. The Draft came and went with Berry going undrafted. Now he is training and biding his time until the lockout is lifted.
Here now is Fast Five with Scooter Berry:
1) What made you want to play at WVU?
Obviously other than joining my brother (Jason Gwaltney) on a "packaged deal" the energy felt so right. My father and uncle fell in love with the university/town just as I did. WVU likes to gives guys chances and I distinctly remembering my uncle say that. My father felt as if he were leaving me in great hands in (Rod,Hand) which he did; but the man he didn't meet until later, Coach Kirlav (Bill Kirelawich), is one of the most amazing and stand up guys that has left a huge impact on me. I'm glad I had the honor to play for him.
2) What was your favorite moment as a Mountaineer?
Losing to Pitt in '07 and '08 broke my heart, so to be able to win in the last seconds against Pitt at home in '09 felt amazing. I cried "tears of joy" that only true Mountaineers would be able to understand and appreciate
3) What is your take on the current coaching situation with the WVU football program?
I'm all for the program excelling and being at it's best, and Luck feels the same way which is the reason why he brought in Holgorsen. I haven't had the pleasures of meeting the new offensive coordinator and soon to be head coach but I'm sure he'll get the job done. He has a great coaching staff to back him on both sides of the ball. I truly think WVU will do special things in '11. I can't wait.
4) What was your experience in the months leading up to the NFL Draft and what has happened since then?
It was different, not your typical college training but still very tough. It was great to have shared it with my brother Jason. You know the NFL Draft clearly didn't turn out like we anticipated but god has a plan for everyone. I've started from the bottom twice before I don't mind doing it again, "3rd time is a charm ehh?"
It's just something a friend and I thought about starting up with the lockout, and drafted players being all that everyone is talking about. What are the guys that didn't get drafted with NFL dreams doing? How are they coping with the situation of the lockout? They're truly in limbo. It's something different, but I feel it'd be interesting to see how these guys, I, myself are handling things.
I'd like to thank Berry for taking the time to answer my questions. Make sure you bookmark his blog Undrafted & Locked Out.