11W Community Interview: Kyle Berger

By Jeremy Birmingham on May 19, 2013 at 6:00p
The 11W Community Interview is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. You submit the questions, vote on them, and then we pass the top ones on to the biggest names in the world of Ohio State athletics.

The subject of tonight's 11W Community Interview – our first – is Cleveland St. Ignatius junior linebacker Kyle Berger. After narrowing his list to Ohio State and Michigan, he chose the Buckeyes to become the 7th commitment in Urban Meyer's 2014 class.

We caught up with the 6-foot-2, 218-pound tackling machine a month ago, but we felt he'd be a great candidate to kick off this new series. He answers readers' questions on everything from nicknames, recruiting, school and the origin of his Twitter nom de plume.

What recruits are you recruiting the hardest to join the 2014 class?  TDIBLE2132

KB: Personally, I've been recruiting Chase Winovich the hardest. We've been texting a lot and stuff and are planning to go up to OSU in one of the next couple weekends together. I've also talked with Mark Andrews.

How close was it with Michigan?  OhioWhiteSnake

KB: Honestly, it was really close between the two. Both programs are so much alike, great facilities, a rich football history, and good coaches. There was so much to like about both schools. But in the end, I just had this certain feeling about OSU when I stepped on campus that I didn't get anywhere else.

What other OSU prospect would you most like to play alongside?  Buckeye-In-SEC

Kyle Berger was Ohio State's 7th verbal commitment for the 2014 class.Almost "Lost" to a rival, Berger found OSU.

KB: It'd be awesome to play with Chase. I think we're so much alike as players and the coaches agree. It'd just be sweet playing with almost like another you on the opposite side of the field. We're both hard-nosed kids and we'd get after each other in practice and make each other so much better.

Are you planning to enroll early? How exciting or frustrating is it to be committed to a program, but still have a least a few months - up to a year - from being in it?  Basso Profondo

KB: Unfortunately, St Ignatius doesn't allow me to enroll early. It's kind of a bummer but it'll be nice to enjoy my whole senior year instead. Its definitely frustrating knowing you can't just go there right away and start school and football. It'd be nice to just start working out with Coach Mick and beginning school. But like I said before, it'll be nice to have my whole senior year. You only go through high school once and I'll  be at OSU for at least 4 years so I just have to wait it out until my time comes.

What is your biggest strength that you'll be bringing to the Bucks? What's one aspect of your game looking to improve between now and enrolling?  CalgaryBuck

KB: I think my biggest strength will be my hard work and dedication to the team. Anything a coach tells me, I work to fix it the very next play and I always do. I never have to be asked twice to do something. If I need to move to Mike (MLB), I absolutely will and will learn it as fast as possible without questions asked. The aspect of my game I'm looking to improve the most is my size. I was a "skinnier" linebacker, so I got to work to add muscle weight while keeping speed. I'm at about 218-pounds, so I've already gained about 15 pounds this offseason and have gotten faster too so I'm going to keep working on that.

What course of studies do you plan to pursue at Ohio State? How much did that influence your decision?  GV9

KB: I plan to be an orthopedic surgeon or a sports medicine doctor so I'll be on the the pre-med track. I will most likely major in biology with a classics (language) minor. I take Latin now and I love it (laughs), but it honestly had a huge impact on my decision. Football only lasts so long so you have to have a backup plan. Ohio State has a great medical school and I got to talk to the head doctor of their hospital and he was able to tell me a lot of great things about the medical program at OSU.

How difficult was it to balance recruiting, school, football and life during this process? Would you say time management or support structure was most important?  JedKat

KB: It really was difficult to balance school, recruiting, and life. Ignatius really teaches kids time management skills so that was a huge help. But I didn't hear anything from schools until after football season so that helped a bit. My parents were also very helpful during the process, they helped me notify coaches when I was supposed to call them or had to study or go to practice and stuff. They always stressed school first because it's obviously the most important. Then after homework was when I would talk to coaches. It got super annoying having to calls multiple coaches everyday when i just wanted to watch Netflix or something (laughs).

What was the worst recruiting pitch you heard?  D1145Fresh

KB: Honestly, I didn't hear a bad recruiting pitch. Every coach I came in contact with was very nice and always had great things to say. Really, the only "bad pitch" I heard was being called "Alex."

Tell us something that makes you unique, a special talent, skill, etc.  BME_Buckeye

Really, the only bad pitch’ I heard was being called 'Alex.'

KB: Haha I get a ton of crap from my friends for this but I'm going to say it anyway, I love playing chess. I learned in like 1st grade and have loved playing it ever since. I haven't played as much lately but like up until sophomore year, I would play everyday. Also, I am obsessed with "Lost," as you all probably know due to my Twitter name being "Hugo Reyes. (I guess we know what he's watching on Netflix.)

Before you committed, did you follow Ohio State recruiting through Eleven Warriors or other sites regularly like us fans? If so, what kinds of comments about you boost your confidence or bother you the most?  TAE1986

KB: Honestly, I didn't at all. I tried to stay away from all that as much as possible. I stink at not caring what others think (laughs) so I was afraid of reading tons of negative comments. My mom read all that stuff and of course her "Mom mode" would take over when she'd see a mean comment and I would hear her talk back to the computer screen.

Thank you to all the Buckeye fans that asked questions and thank you all for your support! I will give my all for Ohio State, Coach Meyer, my family, and Buckeye Nation through my time at OSU. Can't wait to be playing in the Scarlet and Gray.


Comments Show All Comments

DMcDougal24's picture

Awesome feature, I hope to see more. Good luck at OSU Kyle. 

9Route's picture

Good luck Kyle!
Merge those (running) lanes!

I'm just happy to be here

otrain2416's picture

Sounds like a great kid and leader. Real glad Urban got him.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

buckguyfan1's picture

He is a great addition to the Buckeye Family!  Kids like this can help a Team in so many ways.  I hope  he gets to play along side Chase... With the current, newly signed, and likely to sign star prospects at the LB position; I would venture to say that Buckeye Nation will be proud once again with this aspect of our Team!

KingKosar's picture

Great questions, and even better answers!  Big thanks to "Alex" for taking time for us!

dbit's picture

Sounds like an absolutely fantastic kid!

hail2victors9's picture

I couldn't agree more.  I hope he does well on and off the field.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

lljjgg's picture

Seems like an awesome young man! Nothing wrong with loving chess, Kyle -- it's a thinking man's game. Football and soccer remind me a lot of chess so far as the importance of a well-worked strategy goes. Little less physical contact in chess though, hopefully haha.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Hi Mrs. Berger!!!  We're all very excited to see an intelligent and athletic kid grow into a legend. 

Read my entire screen name....

buckz4evr's picture

Great interview!  We are so happy to have Kyle be part of Buckeye Nation.
Shout out to Kyle's mom.  You did a great job, raising an outstanding kid

BeijingBucks's picture

Better to have a nickname 'Alex' than 'Sunshine' once he starts practice

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

BROSEPH's picture

I wonder what jersey number he is going to take, 4 8 15 16 23 or 42. 

MN Buckeye's picture

Were those your Powerball numbers, Bro?

Buckeyeneer's picture

I love the new segment. Thanks!

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

Hovenaut's picture

"I just had this certain feeling about OSU"


Glad you're a Buckeye, Kyle.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Welcome to Buckeye Nation Kyle! 
Love this new 11W Community Interview feature Jeremy.

dubjayfootball90's picture

I like this kid man. Going to be a great Buckeye

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

BME_Buckeye's picture

He enjoys Latin and he plays Chess, looks like we have something in common. Great interview overall and can't wait to see him adorn the scarlet and gray. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


SilverBulletNYC's picture

Haha. Love this kid. Why is it that St. Ignatius doesn't allow kids to graduate early?

The South will NOT rise again!

otrain2416's picture

Most catholic private schools including the one I graduated from won't let you for some reason. One of the main reasons I'm guessing is so they won't lose tuition money.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

gbdawg's picture

Good Luck Kyle, sounds like a good person along with being a great athlete.

WiliestBuckeye's picture

Pre-med/bio major, loves playing chess, obviously loves football, all around nice guy, going to tOSU. I think we can be best friends Mr. Berger.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Buckin-J's picture

Sounds like this kid has a good head on his shoulders.  Wish him all the best at tOSU.

Go Bucks or go home. 

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I love the shot at Flounder Hoke -

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

OSUNeedles's picture

The Greg Bellisari track... See you in the OR for your residency!

dan_isaacs's picture

"Kyle's Mom" has a nice ring to it.  Like it was a song or something...

Dan Isaacs

Oyster's picture

I wouldn't know anything about that...

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Crimson's picture

I can't think of anything like that.

OSUs12-OH's picture

Looks like Urban found his kid that would strangle someone over losing in chess;-)
In all seriousness, this is so cool Jeremy.  Keep these coming....cool as hell.

"I want a hungry team. I want a team that can't wait to get out there. I want an angry team! You're the Ohio State Buckeyes. You're an angry football team. You're a hungry football team and I'm proud to be your coach." UFM

Dayton Buckeye's picture

Great kid. I think he is going to be a very productive player.  Half the game is understanding the defense and reacting. Once he is ready physically, he will be a beast.

GV9's picture

Sounds like a super high quality young man and could be great on the gridiron too.  Can't wait to see him in action!
I'm hoping that he can help pull in Chase Winovich too!   We'd still have room for Dante B. (DL?) and Raekwon in the middle.  
The defense is shaping up nicely for years to come.   
Is it September yet??  

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article Jeremy.  Glad to get to know Kyle a little bit better.  Sounds like a real class act who comes from a good family.  Glad to see he's covering his bases.  Always good to hope that things work out and you make it to the NFL, but also have to have a focus on your education as it is so hard to get that opportunity. 
Can't wait to see Kyle on the field whether it is this year playing some special teams or in the near future out there on D!  Good luck Kyle and Go Bucks!!!  Glad to have you in Columbus!

osubuckeye4life's picture

Thanks for this series Jeremy!
Kyle sounds like a great young man and an exceptional athlete.
Welcome to the Ohio State University Kyle!