Catching Up With Kyle Berger: OSU Visit

By Derek Young on March 25, 2013 at 5:00p

The most intense Ohio State-Michigan battle on the recruiting front continues to take form as Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius LB Kyle Berger has visited both campuses multiple times with the Buckeyes and Wolverines neck-and-neck for his services.

St. Ignatius teammates Jimmy Byrne and Kyle Berger.St. Ignatius teammate and Notre Dame commit Jimmy Byrne with Berger [@Jimbo_Slice76]

Michigan pledge Michael Ferns, another Ohio kid, is very close to the four-star linebacker and Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is playing a large role in Berger's commitment. Mattison's skills as a recruiter are among the best.

But Ohio State still has Urban Meyer at closer and he sat down to break bread with Berger and his family on their visit over the weekend.

Although Berger didn't pull the trigger on a commitment while he was in Columbus, he did leave impressed. If an Ohio State pledge occurs in the near future, current OSU verbal Kyle Trout and newest class member Dylan Thompson will deserve an assist.

The three top-ranked recruits forged a great bond that can only help Ohio State fend off the Wolverines for the services of the Cleveland native.

Join us after the jump to find out what made the visit to Columbus a home run for Berger. Plus, we uncover his timeline for a college decision.

What were some of the sights and events of this trip to Ohio State?

It was the best trip to OSU so far, which is saying a lot.

They let me sit in on the position meetings before the spring practice. Listening to Coach Fickell and observing what it would be like to play for him was a neat experience. I enjoyed that quite a bit.

I was able to visit the trainer's room and speak with the trainer as well. One of the best parts was watching the practice and seeing all the guys get after it. It was great to see the energy and enthusiasm.

Buckeyes commit Kyle Trout was on the trip. Dylan Thompson committed to Ohio State on the trip. What was it like being with them and did you get to share much time with them?

Me, my family, Kyle and his dad, and Dylan and his parents all got to have a meal together with Coach Meyer which was a great time. All of our families enjoyed the time together and the three of us recruits are pretty tight. Kyle has been talking to me about getting back to OSU so I've been in contact with him a bunch before. He's great.

What did your parents think of the visits to both schools, Ohio State and Michigan?

So far only my dad has been up to Michigan with me but he enjoyed it quite a bit. The coaches and all the people at Michigan impressed him a bunch.

My mom and little brother were with my dad and me on the visit to Ohio State. They seemed to fit in very well at OSU and Coach Vrabel hit it off with my little brother.

Are there any other planned trips left to take? Will you visit any other schools in the near future?

Monday evening I'll be in Knoxville to visit Tennessee so it will be a quick turnaround after this visit to OSU. Other than that, nothing is set in stone.

I want to get to UCLA in a few weeks if we can make it happen. The plan is to make it back to Ohio State and Michigan one more time each. It would be for a spring game or another practice. 

Is it safe to say it remains a 50/50 battle between Ohio State and Michigan or were the Buckeyes able to make a significant move?

I think it is still a 50/50 battle. I'm not certain of which school I like more yet and I know I'm going to be very torn when making this decision. My visits to other schools may give them a chance to make a move as well.

Which coaches have been the most instrumental in your recruitment? 

For Ohio State it has been Coach Fickell. He has been the guy I talk to the most. I call him about once a week to catch up on things and he's the closest I am with any coach on their staff.

My relationship with Coach Meyer is starting to really pick up as well. Having Coach Meyer around for a large portion of my visit is really what made it an incredible visit and better than the other trips to OSU.

For Michigan I really get along with Coach Mattison the best. He has been recruiting me personally and he's a great defensive mind. Coach Manning also was just hired there to coach the linebackers and I've talked to him a few times already and I think they made an excellent hire with him.

How's the process been like in terms of Ohio State and Michigan outside of the visits to the school?

It can definitely be overwhelming especially with two schools of this nature putting such a high priority on getting you to commit. I talk to someone from Ohio State or Michigan about every single day of the week in some sort of fashion. I take it in stride and have fun with it.

As far as a timeline goes, do you know when you would like to have a decision by?

The plan I seriously intend on sticking with is to make a few more visits in the next month and to have a decision in May. That gives me a little over a month to figure out where I want to go and I think I can come to a comfortable choice by that date.


Comments Show All Comments

KBonay's picture

Great update Derek & congratulations on the promotion.  Keep up the amazing work!

FitzBuck's picture

Agreed.  Well done and congrats.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

FitzBuck's picture

What do you think Alex?
i feel like I'm climbing Everest and my Sherpa as left me to die.
Miss you already bro.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Alex's picture

Right here watching! Great job D Young

+1 HS
Urbstache's picture

Omg I can upvote Alex? It's like you're a regular person or something 

Urban Warfare

ATXbucknut's picture

I've noticed that other former 11W writers (like way old school ones) who have moved on to (I assume more lucrative) positions with other websites still have handles/profiles on 11W. I think that is neat.

FitzBuck's picture

I know.
This must be what it's like for little girls when they get tweets from Bieber.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Golden Buckeye's picture

Now to go back and upvote every comment of his I have ever wanted to upvote but couldn't.

FitzBuck's picture

I hope everyone that sees your post gives you an up vote.  
Helmet stickers and love are all we can offer....mostly helmet stickers

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

BlueBayou's picture

I think we are probably going to witness the fastest rise to the top of the leader board we have ever seen.  Maybe a record that will never be broken.

FitzBuck's picture

A worthy goal

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

HighBallAce's picture

If I could give you a thousand up votes, you earned them!

sharks's picture

Can't knock the dude for being honest about the 50/50.  Visit TN and UCLA, enjoy the free food, and then choose between us and TTUN.
Isn't it about time we came out ahead on a 50/50?

A man got to have a code...

sir rickithda3rd's picture

I like how OSU recruits the whole family. ttun brought in his dad and him. TOSU brought the whole family

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

chicagobuckeye's picture

It was an unofficial visit so I'm assuming it was the family's choice, but its a good sign that they all wanted to come.

buckeyestu's picture

Hope berger chooses the scarlet and gray. Good article derek.

buckz4evr's picture

Great article!  Congrats on the promotion.  I'm sure you got at least a 200% pay increase....

MN Buckeye's picture

Berger is smart to stick with the 50/50 approach.  While he may truly be torn, he needs to be trending soon if he will decide by May.  Interesting that there was no mention of Hoke.

MN Buckeye's picture

Glad to know you are still with us, Alex!  All the best to you.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Fairly simple Kyle - you want to win championships, come to Ohio State.  If you want to not play for championships, well, head north!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

crusher's picture

Not sure if anyone started a thread on Alex's departure but I would like to thank Alex for all of his hard work here and wish him the best at his new job.

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men

LouGroza's picture

It is the third post down in recent blog posts.

osubuck57's picture

Great article!! Hope Berger makes the best decision for him.If it's not us ,so be it.If Urban can't seal the deal for him,along with Trout and Thompson,not much else to say!!


M Man's picture

You know, the best recruiting reports are written in a way that you lose track of whose "side" the author is on.  Where the emphasis is on the recruit's story, and not wishful thinking by the recruiters.
That's what was so good about this post.

theobi's picture

Did Alex leave 11w? 

703Buckeye's picture

Took a job with Bucknuts.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Buckabroad's picture

Hi Derek,
just wanted to thank you for an excellent article which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Berger situation is a topic that I (and I think many other OSU fans as well) am very interested in. That was a great idea on your part to provide a more depth insight into the current state of his recruitment after his visit!

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

buckguyfan1's picture

Great job Derek!  Just like our Buckeyes.... "Next Man Up"!

LexingtonBuckeye's picture

Thanks for the great update. This article, along with the comments after are what makes this site great and refreshing. Love the sense of community here and why I come back multiple times a day.

buckeye76BHop's picture

No offense to Kyle...but JB is a big boy.  I'm kinda wishing in one hand and you know what in the other over missing out on Byrne.  Kyle looks like a baby compared to him in that pic;-)
Good stuff Derek and thanks as always for the info.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Dougger's picture

I see Mariano Rivera made an appearance..........which is nice...

I like football