This football season has been full of sadness if you pull for the Tennessee Volunteers. Virtually nothing has gone right since that Monday night in Atlanta where the Vols came back to beat Georgia Tech.
Since then it’s been a constant stream of coaching blunders, injuries and drama. Now we have to add this to the list.
Evan Berry’s career at Tennessee is over.
The electric return man that changed so many games for Tennessee over the past few seasons was shut down on Monday after suffering another injury against Southern Miss. Berry had been hurt since camp, appearing in just three games all season.
The senior safety made his mark on the Tennessee record books during his time in Knoxville. Berry will take the top spot in kick return average at 34.3 yards per attempt. He was able to tie Willie Gault with four kick return touchdowns during his career.
What’s particularly painful for Berry is the fact that he’s going to fall 34 yards short of Gault’s all time career kick return yards record. That just happens to be what Berry averaged per return. That’s got to eat at him a little bit.
With so much talent walking out the door last year, I was hopeful that Berry could have some sort of impact offensively this year. His season just never got off of the ground, unfortunately.
Following the success of Eric Berry, we probably had some unrealistic expectations for both Evan and Elliott Berry. But it was cool to see Evan carve out his own legacy at Tennessee in a very different way than Eric.
He was a different kind of return man. He didn’t do it with just pure speed or making people miss. Berry had some special vision to him. He was able to find the weakness in the kick coverage unit and exploit it nearly every time he got the chance to do so.
Hopefully he can get healthy and earn a shot at a kick return job on Sundays.