Vol fans wanted for years for Evan Berry to get a shot to show what he could do on offense. Well now it looks like Vol fans will get their wish, but Berry won’t be doing it at Tennessee.
According to Allan Bell of 247Sports, Evan Berry has not only officially been signed as an undrafted free agent for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL, but he’ll be moving to wide receiver for their upcoming camp as well.
The Cleveland Browns have officially signed former Vol Evan Berry as a wide receiver.
— Allan Bell, Jr. (@AllanBell247) May 4, 2018
Berry was a prolific kick returner for the Vols during his collegiate career, but Vol fans felt that his talent was being wasted by just using him on special teams and occasionally on defense. Berry only touched the ball once on offense while at Tennessee, and that was a carry that went for six yards against South Carolina in 2016. He also didn’t play very much on defense either, totaling just 35 tackles, a tackle for loss, two passes defended, and an interception as a safety. His one interception was an exciting one, though, as he returned it 100 yards for a score to cap off the Vols’ blowout victory over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl to end the 2015 season.
As a returner, Berry was electric. He finished second all-time in Tennessee history in career kick return yards (1,820), second in kick return yards in a season (804), first in yards per return in a season (38.3), first in yards per return in a career (34.3), and tied for first for most kickoff return touchdowns in a season (3) and for a career (4).
Yet despite all that play-making ability on special teams, former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and his staff never gave Berry a shot on offense.
Berry isn’t assured a spot on Cleveland’s roster right now, but they don’t exactly have a loaded wide receiver corps. The Browns did add Jarvis Landry to their roster this offseason, and Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, and Rashard Higgins have showed promise in their young careers. But Josh Gordon hasn’t shown he’s capable of sticking around consistently, and the rest of Cleveland’s receivers have done little to nothing in the NFL.
Cleveland actually didn’t have a bad kick return game last season. They were tied for seventh in the NFL with a 22.6 yard per return average, and they were tied for 11th in most 20-plus yard returns (18).
Making it onto Cleveland’s roster won’t be easy for Berry, even if they Browns did go 0-16 last season. Getting onto a roster as an undrafted free agent is never a guarantee, and Berry hardly played during his senior season in college. The odds are stacked against him, but maybe he’ll find some luck at his new position. Vol fans certainly hope so.