Damien Berry was the other big surprise for the Canes in 2009.
Buried deep in the running back depth chart, Berry made his talent known during garbage minutes against Florida A&M when he rushed for 162 yards on 14 carries. After that performance, the coaching staff made sure that Berry got more carries.
He finished the season second on the team in rushing yards (616), first in yards per carry (6.6), and first in rushing touchdowns (eight).
The stats say that Berry lost 12 yards rushing in 2009 but I refuse to believe it. There was not one time when Berry did not move the pile and at least gain two yards.
Berry does not dance around in the backfield. When he sees the hole, he hits it at full speed and takes two or three defenders with him.
The Canes have had to rely on a committee of running backs the past few seasons. They won’t have that problem this year. If Mark Whipple wants to, Berry could have 25-20 carries a game and the Canes would be just fine. But that just won’t happen because of the depth at the running back position.
The senior Berry will be asked though to be the leader of the group and provide a solid ground attack to take pressure off Jacory Harris.
Mark Whipple’s pro-style offensive is all about balance. Damien Berry needs to be the ying to Jacory Harris’ yang.