Leesville Road standout Braxton Berrios has top showing at national contest The Opening

tstevens@newsobserver.comJuly 10, 2013 

RAY BLACK III

Leesville Road football standout Braxton Berrios finished fifth in The Opening, a national championship for football combines that was held in Oregon last week.

About 150 of the top performers from football combines held around the United States competed in the nationally televised event.

Berrios (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) earned his invitation when he posted the top score (119.52) among more than 1,000 athletes who worked out in Charlotte in March. He advanced to the top 10 finals competition in Oregon through preliminary testing.

He received a 138.78 in the finals for fifth place. He ran 40 yards in 4.48 seconds, made a vertical jump of 40.9 inches, completed a 20-yard shuttle run in an event-best 3.81 seconds and heaved a power ball from a kneeling position 42 feet.

Berrios gained national attention with his workout, but he said combines can only show so much.

“You hear a lot of people talk about speed,” Berrios told Mitch Sherman of ESPN. “Well, speed is something that shows up on the track. In football, it’s something different. It takes cleats and pads to outfit a great football player.”

He also realizes that workouts and 7-on-7 games aren’t the same thing as football games.

“They don’t have a line. They don’t have pressure,” Berrios said of the 7-on-7 passing. “Yeah, they have a clock, but that’s not anything. It’s great for what it is, but I don’t think you can ever replicate the game of football.”

Recruiting expert Chad Simmons of Fox Sports had Berrios in his top 10 list of offensive performers.

“Berrios had a great a couple of days,” Simmons said. “The kid just knows how to get open. He is great inside as a slot receiver, and he uses his quickness to get past the defensive backs.

“He may not be the biggest, but he plays hard, he is as consistent as they come when talking hands, and he just has a great feel for the game. He played a big part in his team winning the (7-on-7) championship.”

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