A few years ago you may have read the headlines about the University of Buffalo’s middle linebacker making the decision to leave the team. Brandon Berry was a second-team ALL MAC and a dynamic part of the Buffalo’s defense in 2015. Berry leaving during the middle of his thriving college football career left many wondering why.
“I wasn’t right within myself,” says Berry. “I let adversity get the best of me.”
Brandon explained that one of the adversities that he faced was losing his little brother and teammate, Solomon Jackson who died in February of 2016.
“We made a promise a year before he passed away that one of us would go pro in football.”
Although Jackson’s death was one of the reasons he left, the promise that they made to each other is what motivated Berry to return to the game. Today Brandon is living up to that promise.
He is now positioned as a linebacker for The Challengers in the X-league. The X-league is a top-level American football league that was founded in 1971 in Japan.
“Solo’s family is really excited for me, I talk to them very often,” says Berry. “All the years I put in to get the opportunity to take my talents to the professional level, I couldn’t waste what God gave me,” says Berry.
February is when Brandon announced that he was going to play in Japan after being signed under a one year contract. He shared his good news by posting a picture of his official jersey with the number 41 in honor of Jackson. Post is shown below.
“I was excited,” says Berry. “It’s the best overseas league you’ll find! I felt that all the let downs and disappointments was God getting me ready for this big blessing.”
Between the time of leaving UB and going international, Brandon finished college, got a job and trained for an opportunity in playing professionally to come.
“I worked as an administrative assistant, now I have my own company called ‘Built to Last,’ which is a home remodeling company. I also did a little real estate consulting.”
When asked what led to him getting the opportunity to play overseas, Brandon said that he did excessive research and reached out to international athletes that he knew of.
“The number one thing I also did to prepare myself was make sure my prayer life was in order,” says Berry.
Now Brandon is preparing to play his first game since returning in the Green Bowl tomorrow at 10:30pm at Oji Stadium. The bowl is a spring Western Japan tournament where different teams compete for ranking. The actual season begins this fall.
“I look forward to mainly winning a championship and being All-Pro,” says Berry.
Tune in live to watch Berry and the Challengers in the Green Bowl tomorrow at 10:30pm by clicking here.