Harvard grad Andrew Berry leaving Colts for Browns

The Browns have a crimson feel.

Harvard graduate Andrew Berry, 28, was hired Thursday to be Cleveland's vice president of player personnel, the team's top personnel job.

Berry is the third person with Crimson ties to hold a prominent position in the Browns' newly rebuilt front office, joining team director of strategy Paul DePodesta, who is from the class of 1995, and vice president of football operations Sashi Brown, who graduated from Harvard law.

"Andrew has been part of a strong foundation in Indianapolis and possesses a tremendous understanding of what is needed to lead a successful, high functioning and comprehensive personnel group," Brown said in a statement. "He has been trained by some very experienced and highly successful personnel executives in the National Football League. Andrew understands what it takes to build a winning team and the individual traits that are essential in looking at each player that make up that team. Andrew's strategic and relentless approach to improving his craft and this team will positively impact our short and long-term opportunities."

Berry had been the Indianapolis Colts' pro scouting coordinator for four years. He spent one year before that as a scout for the Colts and two as a scouting assistant.

He was a four-year starter at Harvard, earning first-team All-Ivy honors three times and All-America cornerback honors twice. While at the school, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in computer science, both in four years (2009).

"Jimmy and Dee (Haslam) have made it clear that they are committed to providing a winning team to the most passionate fan base in the NFL, and this is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to building the perennial contender that Browns fans deserve," Berry said.

With Berry's addition, the Browns continue to build an atypical front office. He was not front and center publicly in the Colts' leadership structure, but he now will be in charge of finding players for the Browns and first-year coach Hue Jackson.

Berry's input into the draft, free agency and talent acquisition will be significant.

"In spending time with Andrew, it is evident that he has a very strong understanding of the game," Jackson said. "His substance and depth in his analysis of how to build a successful team and how he looks at individual players will be a great benefit to us moving forward. It is critical to not just rely on one individual but to have a leader in place that can bring together a comprehensive array of information from our talented and hard-working group of scouts and raise the strategic level and success of our approach."

Berry started scouting when a 2009 minicamp tryout with the Washington Redskins out of college was derailed by a herniated disk in his back, according to a story from the Harvard Crimson in 2009. The Colts knew his background and offered him a job in player personnel. He chose it over a much more lucrative possibility with Goldman Sachs investment firm.

Berry's goal was to become a player personnel director or general manager.

"Andrew's really special," Harvard coach Tim Murphy told The Crimson in 2009. "For my two cents, he'll be running an NFL team in 15 years. At 37 years old, he'll be running an NFL franchise. I have no question."