Braxton Berrios, Leesville senior and football team captain, committed to the University of Miami during his Saturday press conference.
A lifetime Hurricanes fan, Berrios turned down scholarships from dozens of schools and his four other top-five choices—Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky—to announce his upcoming enrollment in Miami.
“It felt like home,” Berrios said. “The coaching staff was great. I felt that everything was like a family.”
The announcement came about 90 minutes after the university was notified, according to Berrios. “Coach Al Golden…was extremely excited,” he said.
Berrios is to graduate early this winter in the top 10 percent academically of the current senior class. However, he’s gained the majority of his fame on the football field, leading the Pride to a 38-7 record since his freshman campaign.
The merely 5’10”, 181-pound athlete accumulated 1,142 rushing yards and 766 receiving yards last year along with 32 total touchdowns. He then followed it up with 556 rushing yards and 231 passing yards for 12 net touchdowns through the first three games this fall, but was sidelined with an ankle injury in the loss to Panther Creek on Sept. 20 and has yet to return.
However, Berrios’s announcement came less than 16 hours after he cheered Leesville on to a 28-17 win over Sanderson at Friday’s Homecoming game, and he was in high spirits about a potential return. No. 8 calls his injury “day-to-day” and seemed to think it possible that he would be cleared to play in next Friday’s game at Enloe.
Chad Smothers, Leesville head coach, called him a “tremendous leader” during Saturday’s festivities, praising his skills to “inspire others to get the most out of their ability.”
“I just want to say thank you…to my family [and] to my coaches,” Berrios told the audience. “You took me to another level: route-running, calling plays, keeping my composure.”
“It’s all about the ‘U’, baby!”