Remember playing NCAA ‘14? If you’re like me, it’s still loaded in your gaming system and you still fire it up occasionally. One of my favorite parts of dynasty mode was the positional changes section of the offseason. If you had a weakness on the roster, odds are you could find someone on the roster to move into that new position.
That’s what I have in mind here, kind of. Bear with me.
One of the best playmakers on the Tennessee roster is a backup safety and return man. It’s Evan Berry, who has mad huge splashes on special teams, but hasn’t really developed into the full time player we thought he would be.
Both Evan and Elliott came to Knoxville under unfair expectations with the legacy that his brother left before them. Neither has turned out to be Eric, but Evan has left his own legacy already at Tennessee. He’s the leading all time kick returner at Tennessee with a hefty 34.2 yard average per return.
With all that talent in the open field, the question has to be asked — why not utilize that open field ability on the offensive side of the ball? Mike Griffith at SEC Country actually suggested this earlier this week. Berry has played occasionally on defense, making three starts at safety last year. But Tennessee has depth on that side of the ball.
They don’t, however, have depth at running back. It’s John Kelly, Carlin Fils-aime and Ty Chandler. What if Evan Berry stole a couple carries a game, Cordarrelle Patterson style? Tennessee could use another playmaker in space, why not Berry?
He’s proven himself as a return man, showing off the vision and athletic ability necessary to be a difference maker. With uncertainty and some roster turnover, Larry Scott could actually use another body as a running back. Could Berry be that guy? I think he could.
And it’s not even like Tennessee has to make the switch official. They could just give him some offensive snaps and see how things develop. Berry may very well be needed defensively still yet, but the Todd Kelly Jr., Micah Abernathy and Nigel Warrior combination is more than capable.
If things don’t go as planned offensively for the Volunteers this year, I wouldn’t be afraid to pull Berry out of my bag of tricks.