Devon Berry is a football player. But he’s so much more than that, too.
Call him an inspiration, call him the toughest kid you know, but don’t you dare say he can’t.
Devon Berry is a football player. He is an athlete. He is a Horned Frog.
You may have heard his story by now, whether it was on ESPN (you can watch the E:60 feature below) or you may have seen the profile in the Atlanta Journal Constitution a year ago. He has become one of those people that everyone knows yet few have actually met, but for the Frog Fam, that’s about to change.
Devon has matriculated from Georgia to Fort Worth, where he is a member of the class of 2020 and plans to walk on to the football team this fall. He was kind enough to answer a few questions and let us get to know him a bit as he prepares for his journey at TCU.
Frogs O’ War: First and foremost, why TCU? What was it about the school that peaked your interest and drew you out of Georgia?
Devon Berry: What originally peaked my interest to TCU was fact that It is a Christian school because I love Jesus Christ. Because God is the head of my life. However, last summer in June I had a speaking engagement for the Larry Kemp and Sons Company in Fort Worth Texas, who had seen my ESPN story and wanted me to come and speak. So while down here on my visit on my Itinerary there was a visit to see TCU's campus. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful campus and beautiful loving spirit that this campus provides to their prospective students.
And simply I love an environment where I can openly talk about Jesus Christ. And lastly I love the state of Texas.
FOW: You seem to seek out challenges - academically and athletically. What inspires that from you?
DB: I seek out challenges that have never been done before. Particularly with athletics and academics, I know because of the fact that I have a different ability things will be more challenging for me personally, but fulfilling God's word in the Bible is what inspires me the most because In Luke 1:37 it says “For with God nothing shall be impossible”.
FOW: Tell us about your football career - what made you try out for your high school team and what has football meant to you over the years?
DB: First off I have been playing football since I was 12 so I did not tryout for the football team. It just happened. I wanted to make the impossible possible. I have a passion for football and a lot of people do not agree with me playing football. But it is not for my glory it's for the glory of God. I do not care what others think about me playing football (negatively) I know what vision God has shown me and when you’re doing something for God everybody may not understand your reasoning but God does. I was discriminated against and told no. Looked down upon but I know that this is bigger than football in a variety of ways. Football for me has created a platform to show people that in order to BE something you have to DO something. And to never give up and show many people that who are lost the way to Christ. That is what football has meant for me.
FOW: Your plan is to walk-on to the TCU Football team. What is the motivation behind that desire and what do you hope to get out of the experience?
DB: My motivation is to become the first differently abled football player and make history showing people that the word of God is true. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. I believe strongly that it is bigger than the game. As I previously stated, this is for the glory of God. Not me. I want to change the game and be the pioneer of opening up the door for differently abled people to have the opportunity to do what ever their hearts desired to do, and not be limited to a label or name that has been placed on our lives. We are no different and I believe if the USA says they do not discriminate then why not take advantage of something that has not been done before and stand out. My ambition is to win and change the game of football. And I believe that speaks volume.
FOW: Have you had any conversations with the coaching staff at TCU about playing there? What has the reaction been when you have told people that you want to play for the Frogs?
DB: I spoke to Matt Lewis, the Director of Football Operations. I really did not get a yes or no, I just got a come to the walk-on meeting on August 17th. Coach Patterson and The D Line coach follow me on twitter, as does Coach Patterson’s wife (Kelsey) and said she can not wait to meet me. Along with TCU Football players Nathan Guyton and Isaiah Graham both following me on twitter and saying they would love for me to be on the team. I would like to have a meeting with one of the coaches before walk on tryouts. That is my goal. So they could know what my expectations are and my limitations are. I know what I can and can not do and I would like to tell them that.
FOW: Outside of football, what are you most looking forward to as a student at TCU?
DB: I want to be in the honors college and get a internship with the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, or Texas Rangers in the marketing department. Or some major company like Nike or Adidas. Have a business meeting with Jerry Jones/Mark Cuban. Get a degree in Marketing and minor in Finance, come out with my own brand. Do motivational speaking. Compete at Paralympics in 2020 and publish my book “The Devon Berry Story: Facing your Fears”. Have a secure job making six figures before I graduate. And ultimately bringing people to Christ Jesus.
We will all be rooting for Devon as he begins his football journey at TCU. We will keep you posted as he begins the walk-on process with the Frogs, and know that he will play a pivotal role with the program in whatever way he is a part of it. Give him a follow on twitter @_vonb and a big welcome to the Frog Fam!