Former Notre Dame and NFL defensive end Bertrand Berry was a three-sport standout from Humble, Texas, not exactly the type of city name one would associate with most professional athletes. He was great at every sport he played in high school – a two-time all-district selection in basketball who also set new records in track, but knew that football was his dream. Berry was a four-year letterman in football at Notre Dame, finishing his college career with 187 tackles and 16.5 sacks. In 1997, Berry was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the third round of the NFL Draft. He was with the Colts from 1997-99, then had a short stint in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos before returning to the NFL with the Denver Broncos and later the Arizona Cardinals. He finished his NFL career with 229 total tackles, 65 sacks, 14 fumble recoveries and 14 forced fumbles, earning a Pro Bowl spot in 2004, the same year he led the NFC in sacks. Berry now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., with his wife, who he met in middle school, and their three children ages 6, 10 and 12.
Q: How did you make the decision to leave Texas and play football at Notre Dame?
A: “My plan was to go to Texas A&M. My mother grew up 20 miles from College Station and I loved their defense, “The Wrecking Crew.” They were dominating their conference. Then in 1993, Texas A&M played Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Texas A&M was undefeated that season and Notre Dame had one loss. Everyone in A&M country was very disappointed that they had to play Notre Dame. They thought they should have been playing for the national title, and then Notre Dame came in and absolutely manhandled them. It really made me stop and think. If I go to A&M, they really don’t have a chance to win a title, but if I go to Notre Dame … plus, I really needed to get away from Texas. I was a momma’s boy and really needed to set out on my own.” Read more at NoCoastBias.com.
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