June 20, 2017
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee senior kick returner Evan Berry has been named a Preseason Second Team All-American by Athlon Sports, as announced by the highly regarded college football publication on Tuesday.
Berry earns the accolade for the second year in a row, having been tabbed a first team selection prior to the 2016 season.
A Fairburn, Georgia native, Berry played in nine games last year and returned 14 kickoffs for 460 yards and one touchdown (ranked eighth in the nation and tied for first in the Southeastern Conference). In 2016, he also led the SEC and ranked second in the country with a 32.9-yard kick return average.
In SEC play, Berry’s 33.3 kickoff return average (12 returns for 400 yards and a touchdown) ranked as the best mark in the conference while his 34.2 career kickoff return average ranks as the best mark among all NCAA football players at all levels. Berry’s career average also ranks first in Tennessee history and his 1,677 career kickoff return yards are the third-most by a Vol.
Berry was the country’s top kickoff returner in 2015, pacing the FBS with a 38.3 yards-per-return average to go along with three return touchdowns. For his efforts, Berry was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and earned first team All-America honors from multiple publications.
Tennessee and Team 121 — previously tabbed with a No. 19 preseason ranking by Athlon Sports — open the 2017 season on Monday, Sept. 4 against Georgia Tech.