March 19, 2007

Berry looks to fill the Revis spot

When Darrelle Revis announced in January that he intended to forego his senior season at Pitt and enter the NFL draft, it was well understood that his departure would leave a void in the Panthers' secondary. But with spring practice underway, it appears that the Pitt coaching staff has found a serviceable, perhaps even exceptional, replacement in second-year player Aaron Berry.

Through two days of spring camp, Berry, a native of Harrisburg who graduated from Bishop McDevitt with incoming running back recruit LeSean McCoy, has established himself as a starting cornerback, but he knows that he's got a lot of work to do before inheriting the Revis mantle.

"I've definitely got some big shoes to fill," Berry said on Sunday. "But if I work hard and keep competing throughout the spring, I'll get better every day and hopefully be able to get out there and compete with every receiver in the Big East. So I'm just working on getting better."

Big shoes to fill indeed, as Revis' collegiate career was filled with superlatives: a three-year starter at cornerback, the Aliquippa native was named first team All-Big East in each of the last two seasons and was a Thorpe Award semi-finalist in 2006. He scored three touchdowns in his final season at Pitt, two on interception returns and one on a punt return against West Virginia. The punt return was later selected as the 2006 "College Football Play of the Year" by ESPN.

Berry said that the time he spent working with Revis last season was invaluable.

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