CORAL GABLES, Fla.Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
AP Photo/Alan Diaz
Braxton Berrios doesn't wear jersey No. 33 for the Miami Hurricanes.
Maybe he should.
Berrios' college numbers so far:
_ 33 catches in his Miami career.
_ 33 yards the longest of those.
_ 33 college classes completed.
_ 33 'A' grades on his transcript.
The junior wide receiver _ who plans to graduate next spring, three years after enrolling at Miami _ has not just a perfect collegiate academic record, but one that goes all the way back to middle school.
"I like being different," Berrios said. "I like doing things in a different way."
Classes have resumed at Miami and Berrios' academic streak is still going, though it was briefly over this past spring. Berrios was involved in a group project with three other students that he didn't previously know, and the grade was contingent on how everyone did. Berrios got A's on his individual exams, but when the semester ended the grade came in: B-plus, streak over.
That is, until the professor did some additional review of Berrios' work over the summer and decided the initial grade was too low.
The streak lives.
"In college football, we're in a position where people look up to us," Berrios said. "People think we're bigger than we are. If I can get one person to look up and say, 'Wow, he does all that and still gets good grades and still cares,' then I encouraged them to do the same. So it's not about the A. It's really about the principle of the A."
He wakes up each morning at 5:20 a.m. for football workouts, tends to stay up very late to get the academic work done. He's taking four classes this semester _ some super-high-level finance and entrepreneurship ones in there _ and might need six classes next spring to get the degree done.
It's not always pleasant, but he makes it work off the field.
On the field, injuries have slowed him at times, but Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya thinks Berrios is due for a breakout there in 2016.
"He's a guy who's worked hard year after year. I hope this is the year that his hard work finally pays off," said Kaaya, one of Berrios' close friends. "He's never been a guy who's complained and had his head down. He just works hard. I witness what he's doing every single day and I think his hard work will pay off this season."