Tymere Berry is a senior communication student and a defensive back for Monmouth’s football team.
A native of Philadelphia, Berry was born to a single 19-year-old mother. Berry moved back and forth with his grandmother and mother, until age seven, when he moved permanently to Toms River, NJ.
At eight, Berry found out that football could take him a long way.
“I never played flag-football; my first year was tackle. My first position was running back. I’ve played football every year since then,” he said.
At Toms River South High School, Berry was selected for First Team All-Shore Conference. As a senior, he finished with 51 tackles, and he scored 25 touchdowns passing and rushing overall.
He was named First Team All-Shore Defense, and he was selected to play in the Phil Simms North-South All Star Game.
Monmouth was the first school to offer Berry a scholarship, and he felt that the institution was home.
“I was a junior in high school. It was just a family environment. They came to any event I had, and the whole staff was there supporting me. I had offers from Army, Rhode Island, and others,” he shared.
“What I saw was people who cared about me, outside of how I was going to help their team. Monmouth was there for me since my junior year of high school, always checking up on my family until I committed a year later,” Berry added.
At Monmouth, Berry was one of the few incoming freshmen to appear on the field, but he became academically ineligible the following season.
“I was always a great player and it opened my eyes. It made me realize that you can be the best player on the team, but if you cannot handle your business it becomes irrelevant,” he said.
He put in the work that he needed to, in order to come out on top.
“When I couldn’t play because of school and something I did, it changed my whole mentality. I’m on a full scholarship, here for free, and I was about to lose that over something I could control. I lived under a rock and was just focused on getting back because I knew what I wanted to do,” said Berry.
The following season Berry was named Second Team All-Big South Selection as a defensive back, after finishing with 43 tackles (including 33 solo stops), and first in the Big South with 16 passes defended. This also placed fifth in the NCAA with passes defended.
This past 2018 season, Berry was selected as Team Co-Captain, and he was named First Team All-Big South after finishing with 60 tackles, which was the highest on the team. He is also the 1,000 point scorer, and he holds the three point record.
“This past season being a captain was one of my greatest accomplishments. This was the first time I got the role as a captain and the first time I got to walk out for a coin toss since high school,” said Berry.
Head Football Coach, Kevin Callahan explains that freshman year was a growing process for Berry, and that he is proud to watch his current success.
“We have seen him really develop his role as a leader. This demonstrates the amount of respect his teammates have for him. Going into his fifth year as a member of the football programs, I think he is respected by a lot of his players, especially the defensive backs,” said Callahan.
“We have been fortunate in the past to have some players go and play in the National Football League, and I think that Tymere is one of a group of guys on our team that has the aspiration and potential,” Callahan added.
Monmouth University Defensive Coordinator, Andrew Bobik, believes that Berry’s attention to detail, maturity, and physicality has grew and sharpened.
“He’s playing in a position where you have to have short term memory. He pulls guys together and they gravitate towards him. It’s good to have guys who have been in the fight and understand that we need to do certain things to keep going,” said Bobik.
“Football pretty much taught me everything. I’m somebody who grew up in a single parent home. I never had a father, mentor, life coach, trainer, nobody. Everything I learned was from mistakes of my own,” Berry said.
“My mom is the greatest person in the world; there’s obviously stuff she can’t teach me, and she always does the best she can,” he continued.
“Football is a great opportunity to learn responsibility and time management. When you get to the college level, football shows what it likes to live in the real world,” said Berry.
PHOTO COURTESY of Tymere Berry