October 19, 2007

Berry's patience pays dividends for WVU

MORGANTOWN-- It is unlikely that any current college football player's eligibility status is less correlative to his level of experience than West Virginia defensive tackle Scooter Berry. Still listed in media guides as a freshman, Berry has probably seen more change occur during his time at WVU than many students see in their entire collegiate careers.

Having graduated from North Babylon High School in Long Island, New York, over a year earlier, Berry stepped on campus in January 20006 and was immediately grayshirted, which allowed him to begin working out with the football program during the spring semester instead of waiting to join the team during the summer like a typical freshman. But while he has yet to exhaust even one year of his collegiate eligibility, Berry's time in Morgantown has already seemed like an eternity.

To wit: while Berry was learning names and faces around the Milan Puskar Center, Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey were still gearing up for the men's basketball team's magical run to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Tournament. On a more personal level, Berry was known then as little more than the brother of Jason Gwaltney, WVU's highly recruited tailback who was already on his way to fizzling out after one season as a Mountaineer.

And, of course, one other detail was much different for Berry at the time: he was listed as a fullback.

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