Kyle Berger is a 4-star linebacker prospect who committed to Ohio State in April. He is one of the top players in the Buckeyes' class, as his skills and potential are impressive.
The Ohio native is a solid player, and with head coach Urban Meyer looking to build a stingy defense, Berger fits right in. He has an interesting skill set, good size and solid work ethic.
Ohio State is excited for his arrival, but before that happens, Berger warrants a closer look.
Berger is a linebacker prospect from Cleveland who attends St. Ignatius High School. He stands out against good competition, evidenced by a remarkable junior season total of 44 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.
Berger earned an invite to The Opening this summer, which is the marquee offseason event for recruits. He is committed to Ohio State, where he is expected to develop into a starting-caliber linebacker.
However, Berger will miss his senior season due to a torn ACL.
At 6'3" and 215 pounds, Berger's best assets are his instincts and intelligence. This is a heady football player who plays with an intense focus, purpose and appears to prepare himself well throughout the week.
Berger does an excellent job of trusting his gut before the snap, quickly processes information and consistently makes proper reads. He is quick to react to plays, has surprisingly great athleticism and flashes excellent agility and quickness to scrape laterally to fill alleys.
He spends a good amount of time on the edges and flanks, but has the toughness to man the middle. Berger doesn't back down from blockers, as he has quick hands and good technique to shed. He displays solid speed to track runners across the box, can sift through trash and plays with an admirable motor.
Berger can crash off the edge as a blitzer on passing situations, has the toughness to fight through the A-gap to get to the quarterback and will give good effort when asked to cover tight ends. His vision, athletic ability and instincts also should help him be able to play in zone coverage.
The main weakness for Berger is his apparent lack of elite power at the point of attack.
At times, he can play smaller than one would expect, but don't confuse that with not being tough.
However, Berger needs to spend some time in the weight room in Columbus, as he could have some issues escaping the clutches of bigger college offensive lineman. Also, added strength would help him set the edge with more force, plus aid him in becoming more stout when he anchors on the flanks versus running plays.
Here is a clip featuring highlights of Berger during his time at St. Ignatius High School. The defender predominantly lines up at left outside linebacker in his school's 3-4 alignment.
His motor, toughness and solid athleticism are on display.
This is just another, although shorter, clip of highlights focused on Berger. Watch how his quick ball-location skills, awareness and quickness are showcased. Ohio State is getting a solid football player who should be able to crack the lineup, plus make an impact on special teams.
Berger likely will redshirt as a freshman, as spending a year rehabbing his knee and getting stronger would be an ideal situation for him.
However, his skill set appears to be capable of adding versatility to the Buckeyes' defense. Seeing Berger as a weak-side outside linebacker wouldn't be shocking, but he certainly has the traits of a strong-side outside 'backer.
His instincts and athleticism should earn him a starting job by the end of his sophomore season in Columbus.
Berger can be found on the interactive 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map! He's a talented player who fits in among the nation's best.
Use the map to locate Berger, and many other elite recruits all around the nation!