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Did Georgia drop the ball with Berry?

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Sounds like Georgia didn't exactly do a bang-up job of recruiting Eric Berry, who's gone on to become one of the best defensive players in the country at Tennessee.

Berry, who's from Fairburn, Ga., told Volquest.com that the Bulldogs took him for granted. Here's an excerpt from a day-in-the-life piece done on Berry by John Brice:

"I guess I just felt like Georgia thought they had me in the bag, and they didn't even know about me and I was in their backyard," Berry explains. "I remember when I went on my recruiting visit, coach (Mark) Richt had my name and stats written on his hand. I guess he thought I didn't see it or something, but I did. They were talking to me about playing wide receiver; they didn't even know my position was safety and quarterback. That really made me upset. Coach Kiffin (who then was at Southern Cal), he came with Pete Carroll and the running backs coach and they knew all about me. And I was in Georgia's backyard."

Ouch! Not a ringing endorsement for a school that typically cleans up in its own backyard.

But to be fair, Georgia was fighting an uphill battle from the outset with Berry, whose father, James Berry, was a running back and team captain at Tennessee in the early 1980s.

In other words, the Vols had a pretty strong in with the Berry family.