Oct 12, 2013
As Leesville Road senior Braxton Berrios prepared to make his college announcement at Leesville Road High School on Saturday afternoon, the lights in the auditorium went dark.
Seconds later, the Miami Hurricanes logo popped up on the stage curtain behind Berrios.
"It's all about 'The U' baby," Berrios said as the lights came back on and he put on the Miami hat, officially announcing his verbal commitment to the Canes.
"It just felt like family. I've been a longtime Canes fan, and it really wasn't as simple as that, it really wasn't," Berrios said. "Getting that offer was great, it was a dream come true, but I had to step back and really look, weigh all my options, and see what fit me the best."
Berrios said when it came time to finalize a decision, "it was more like why not" when it came to Miami.
Berrios stands at 5-foot-9 and 181 pounds. He is a four-star prospect and the No. 14 player in the state of North Carolina, according to ESPN.com.
Prior to committing on Saturday, Berrios trimmed his list to a final five earlier in the week. His list also included Kentucky, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee.
According to Berrios, he didn't reach a final decision until Friday.
"This whole week was tough. It was back and forth, talking to family. I was going to push it back about two weeks, then I decided I had told everybody I was going to commit on Oct. 12, and I decided I was going to be a man of my word," he said.
Berrios insists the back and forth is over though, and that there is no chance he will have any second thoughts.
"I'm an early enrollee, my signing period isn't too far. This is it. I'm committed," Berrios said. "I wouldn't have had this if I wasn't sure."
In the last two seasons, Berrios has helped Leesville Road to back-to-back Cap 8 titles with undefeated regular season records.
Just before halftime on Sept. 20 against Panther Creek, Berrios injured his left foot. He has not played in a game since then, but he said he hopes to return soon, and with the college decision behind him, he will be focused on nothing but winning.
"I really haven't focused much on (his college decision) at all besides this week, but now it's off my shoulders, it's out of everybody's head," Berrios said. "I don't think it was a distraction before, but now it is definitely no distraction at all."
Leesville Road's next game will be on Oct. 18 at Enloe.
Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT