An article about Berlin from the NY Times - posted the entire thing so that you wouldn't have to have a membership to the Times to read it.

August 31, 2003
Miami's Berlin Has a Good Debut After Earning the Chance to Start

When Brock Berlin was piling up yards and winning championships as a blue-chip quarterback at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, La., it seemed only a matter of time before he would be leading some college football powerhouse.

Nearly four years and two colleges since throwing his last pass in high school, Berlin, a junior at Miami, finally has his chance. He returned to his hometown Thursday night to make his debut in third-ranked Miami's 48-9 victory over Louisiana Tech.

"It's just unbelievable that it's worked out this way, in front of a ton of people from my hometown in a stadium that's just about 5 or 10 minutes from my home," said Berlin, who was 14 for 28 for 203 yards in less than three quarters on Thursday. He threw for two touchdowns and was intercepted once.

Berlin's college football career began in Gainesville, Fla. He was considered the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the country when he signed with Florida and Coach Steve Spurrier in 2000.

It appeared to be the perfect match - a top-notch passer and throw-it-around coach.

Problem was Rex Grossman, who became the Gators' starter as a redshirt freshman in Berlin's first season. In 2001, Grossman was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy and Berlin was his seldom-used backup.

He did start one game for the Gators that season. Spurrier benched Grossman at the start of the Orange Bowl against Maryland for missing curfew. Berlin, who was already leaning toward transferring to Miami, was 11 for 19 for 196 yards and 2 interceptions against the Terrapins.

But Grossman was entrenched as the Florida starter and had two more years of eligibility. So Berlin headed to Miami, where he had to sit out the 2002 season. But he knew he would be given a shot to replace Ken Dorsey this season. "It was tough," Berlin said. "But I knew my time would come, and it's here now."

Coach Larry Coker named Berlin the starter in the spring, when he beat out Derrick Crudup.

"He's not a rookie," Coker said of Berlin. "He has been around a little bit. He's been in big stadiums and big venues before. He doesn't need to be calmed down yet, but I will talk with him about it and let him know - and this is the same with any quarterback - that he doesn't have to go win the game."

Berlin is one of several new but talented players in Miami's starting lineup.

Frank Gore replaces the record-breaking tailback Willis McGahee. Heading into last season, he was expected to start ahead of McGahee, then blew out his knee and had major surgery. But he seems to have recovered nicely, rushing for 118 yards on 21 carries against Lousiana Tech. He also caught 2 passes for 33 yards.

Ryan Moore, a redshirt freshman, will try to fill the slot vacated by wide receiver Andre Johnson, who was the third overall pick in the N.F.L. draft. In his college debut Thursday, he caught 4 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Last season's entire starting line on defense was drafted and a rash of injuries put three starters - wide receiver Jason Geathers, linebacker Roger McIntosh and left guard Joe McGrath - out of the opener. But Miami held the Bulldogs to 98 yards rushing and 13 first downs.

"I wouldn't say it was great," Berlin said of his performance Thursday. "I'm glad to get it out of the way and now just ready to get on with next week."


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