It’s never too early to look ahead to upcoming recruiting classes, especially when it comes to possible future Buckeye quarterbacks. I had a chance to speak with Justin Berry, a 2016 QB prospect from St. Francis High School (Wheaton, IL). Berry’s dad, Shaon, played running back for Pittsburgh in 1980’s. Although he’s only a freshman in high school, he brought me up to date with his recruitment thus far.
I know it’s early for you in the recruiting process, but what schools are showing constant interest so far?
I’d say Illinois, Indiana, Ole Miss, and UCLA. I speak to Illinois coaches weekly and will be visiting both Illinois and Indiana within the next couple weeks. I spoke to the UCLA coaching staff, and I will probably visit there next summer. I’ve gotten mail from many other schools and spoken to other coaching staffs, but these four schools are who I talk to the most and on a regular basis.
What schools stand out for you and do you have any favorites?
As of now, I don’t really have any favorites. Since I was 8 years old, I attended Illinois games, and my dad’s friend from college was on the Illinois coaching staff a few years ago. I am very close with the Illinois staff and attended two Illinois camps this past summer. I spoke with Coach Paul Nichols after the camps, and he told me about Illinois’s interest.
How would you describe your game at quarterback?
I’d say that I am a dual-threat quarterback. I throw the football accurately, but, if needed, I can run. My deep-ball, accuracy, and velocity are the best things about my game. I also play safety, and playing defense and reading offenses both help me at the quarterback position. My dad was a running back in college at Pittsburgh, so maybe that’s why I’m able to have the option to run the ball at quarterback.
Ole Miss was crazy. I had never been to an SEC school before that visit. The atmosphere was awesome, and they take football very seriously. I think it is a lot different from the Big Ten. But, I still love the Big Ten.
Has Ohio State expressed any interest in you, and are there any coaches from Ohio State you’ve spoken to?
Yes, I actually spoke with Coach Kerry Coombs about a month ago. He explained that he had heard from my quarterback coach Donovan Dooley. Coach Coombs wants me to come down for camp next summer. Ohio State is another school I watch on TV all the time, and I can imagine the stadium being crazy with so many fans.
How’s your high school season going thus far?
Good. I had originally planned to go to St. Charles East High School, but instead decided on St. Francis. Right now I’m just focused on winning, and our team is undefeated right now. I am playing on the freshman team right now, but our varsity Coach [Greg Purnell] told me that come next year, the QB position will basically be an open tryout and whoever works the hardest in the offseason will get the start.
Again, I know it’s early, but do you have any idea if you want to commit earlier in the process or wait until signing day to announce your commitment?
That’s a good question. Kyle Bosch [2013 Michigan OL commit & fellow St. Francis teammate] is really close to my family. He had 20+ offers, and he told my dad he had his commitment all planned out and was going to announce at an all-star game. But, he realized he loved Michigan and just had to commit. I can’t really plan out my commitment, and I think I need to develop love for a school.