JASON BERRYMAN: Former Cyclone Remembered

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A former Cyclone football star was found dead in his east Texas home, Wednesday. Police in Jefferson, Texas believe it was murder.

KTBS reports that 28-year-old Jason Berryman's body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy.

Berryman had a short but very troubled career at Iowa State.  His former coach and teammates called Berryman, "one of the most gifted players they've ever seen.”

There were two sides to Berryman. There was the Berryman who burst on the scene at Iowa State with 117 tackles as a true freshman.

“A guy who could run down a receiver or a running back from behind that played the d-line position, the d-end,” said Todd Blythe, who played with Berryman from 2003-2005.

That one was a legend on the practice field.

“He’d outrun the defensive linemen," his former coach, Dan McCarney said. "I’d put him with the linebackers, he’d outrun the linebackers. I’d put him with the DB’s, he’d outrun the safeties.  He was running with corners he was running with receivers…”But there was also the Berryman who spent 258 days in the Story County jail for theft and assault.

“He said `man, I messed up, but when I get my chance, I’ll show people I’ve changed,” Curvey remembered.

His skills too great to ignore, and Iowa State coach, Dan McCarney gave him a second chance.  He recorded 5 ½ sacks in the 2005 Houston Bowl, his last game as a Cyclone.

“Every other play he was making a play," recalled teammate, Bret Meyer, “It was a hurry, it was a sack, it was running someone down from behind…”

But when Berryman violated his probation a month later, he was finished at Iowa State.  He got looks from the NFL and a job with the Iowa Barnstormers. But again, his road of redemption hit a dead end.

“He`s very emotional, so he gets attached to things emotionally and I think that`s what made him make some of the decisions that he made,” Curvey shrugged.

deceased isu playersSince 2003, six former Cyclone football players have died.  McCarney says each call steals the breath from his lungs.

“There’s this order in life and it’s not supposed to work that way," he said, "but it’s just terrible news; I hate to hear it.”

Berryman had his skills and his demons, but his former teammates insist there was one more side to him.

“I`ve been asked multiple times,” Blythe said, “in my time playing at Iowa State and in the time after, `man, was Berryman a thug? Was he just a bad kid? Did anyone want to be around him or want him back on the team?` He was the furthest thing from it.”

“I mean it’s tough," Curvey said, "he was like a brother, you know.”

Although he left Iowa shortly after being cut by the Iowa Barnstormers in 2008, Jason Berryman soon returned.  In fact, he worked in concessions at Wells Fargo Arena until sometime last year when he moved back to Texas.

He was named Iowa State's MVP and Big 12 defensive freshman of the year in 2003.

KTBS reports his body was discovered Wednesday by friends and family.


  • RoccoG

    I shed nary a tear for a waste of opportunities this guy had.
    Spare us the bleeding heart drivel as well.
    He was a thug, his choice not mine….not yours.

    • Mike Cee

      I couldn’t agree more. He wasted his life and the choice to do so was his and his alone. He was handed more opportunities than he deserved, and more opportunities than most people would have been given, and he still elected to waste it.

      • Stephanie

        I disagree with this wholeheartedly. Unless you knew him personally, I don’t think anyone has room to question his decisions or the opportunities he was given. And regardless of those things, regardless of how many times a person messes up, or how many opportunities they squander, it doesn’t mean that them being murdered is justified.

  • cece

    he was not a thug,he was young and made some bad decisons ,as everyone has at one point in life or another….i love my cousin,and he did not deserve this…..

    • 49erfevah

      cece I am so sorry for your loss. I remember watching Jason play during his short time at Iowa state. He was such an outstanding player that I could barely believe my eyes, and I was sure he was going to be a super star in the NFL one day. My heart was truly broken when he had to leave the team. Now my heart breaks for you and your family. Praying for them. RIP JB….

  • C/O 2003

    Everyone is not the same, I knew him first hand, we graduated high school together and he was not a bad guy. Everyone makes mistakes some people bounce back and some don’t. Just because you do something and get in trouble for it does not make you a thug. Who are you to judge anybody? Maybe if we dig into your past we may find some stuff you’ve done. Yes everyone is entitled to their own opinion but spare me his family is grieving. Yes he got kicked off of the team, but what did you know about him after he was off the team and there was nothing to read on the internet about him? You only know what you read, so don’t label somebody when you don’t know the person’s whole story.

  • dena clyton

    Jason berryman was a brother too me just because someone has a past doesn’t them a thug u only know him from what you have read and you don’t know him personal…. his family and friends are going through something right now and look what yall put on here have some kind of heart….. I know this man and his family so please don’t try to but a label on anyone

  • Brandi@HGHomestead

    I went to Kashmere with him. He was cool and I wouldnt have believed destined to meet such a young tragic end. If u have nothing positive to say then keep it to yaself. Ppl are grieving and can do with out thr negativity. Only God can judge him. Not none of us. The negative is irrelavent. Let’s celebrate the life he lived. R.I.P. Jasmo Berryman. You will truly be missed.

  • RoccoG

    Blah blah blah.
    Love how you people come on there purporting to be “relatives”.
    Another black on black senseless -brutal-murder and you people are too concerned at covering up for him instead of the big picture here.
    I simply lol.

    • Stephanie

      So it’s funny to laugh at someone being murdered RoccoG? Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless you’re a police officer in Jefferson, Texas you have no idea what went down. Maybe your assumptions are correct, but at the end of the day they don’t negate the fact that someone who was a teammate, a friend, a son, a cousin, a brother, was killed and losing someone hurts. Even if the choices they did or didn’t make may have contributed to their untimely death. Maybe try to be just a little bit sensitive for the people’s sakes who do actually care.

    • C/O 2003

      You just know what you read on the internet. You didn’t know him personally. Nobody is covering anything up!!! Why does everything have to be black on black….seems a little funny to me. How do you know that was the case…were you there? We know he did some wrong things just like we all do wrong things from time to time. That’s not the issue have a little sympathy for his family. Nobody matter what you’ve read on the internet, because you don’t know anything else…….nobody deserves to be murdered. Just think if it was your relative or friend and you had to deal with their death and get on the internet and read harsh stuff like what you wrote. People can be so ignorant……Rest In Peace Jason

      • RoccoG

        Murdered due to one of these:
        Stolen property ( X-box or Nike’s are my guess)
        Game of checkers gone awry
        Scuffed sneakers.
        Dice game gone awry.
        Wedding shower gone awry.

  • ShaLaura Jones

    I went to Kashmere with Jason and he was like a big brother to me..Evaone has a good and bad side to them..This is not the time to put out things like that..If you are a true friend of his you wouldnt put negative things out..I LUVE YOU BIG BRO IM GOING TO MOURN YPU TIL I JOIN YOU R.I.P JASON BERRYMAN #84 ♥♡♥♡

    • Stephanie

      Wow. It must be hard being so full of hate and judgment toward others. Or finding humor in situations that warrant absolutely no humor. Or belittling others to make yourself feel better. I hope that no one you love ever gets killed, or God forbid makes any sort of mistake. Then again, with the words that have come out of your mouth I find it hard to believe that you have it in you to care about anybody.

  • 43

    Man, im still in disbelief. I just heard about this yesterday. JB was my dawg point blank period. In fact if it wasn’t for jb I don’t believe I would have ever met the woman I’m married to today. Thank you for that bro. Raw talent was an understatement for jb. This kid was blessed with an undeniable gift from God and he showcased it every time he hit the field. He was destined for the next level. Sadly…. sadly….., the devil had his way with jb. And no matter how much or what you said to him, jb was going to be jb and thats why we loved him so much. Who ever responsible for this heinous act will deal with God. Im going to miss you lil bro. My prayers goes out to his mother who I had the privilege to meet while at isu as well as his family. May you RIP bro. 43

    • 49erfevah

      JB was beast! Die hard ISU fan here. One of the most exciting players I’ve ever watched at that level. I was devastated how things turned out for him. And now this…. Just heart breaking.

  • RR

    I knew him personally. He treated me with nothing but kindness and respect. Anyone I ever saw him with could also say the same. He had many friends that could attest to the fact that he was hardest on himself. And for that reason alone he suffered. We all make bad choices in life and No one is beyond redemption. To condemn in death is beyond saddening to me. He knew he messed up in life, and he knew he was far from perfect. Lay off..the guy is gone. RIP Jason. Just know you were loved and believed in by many. Hope you find peace and contentment in the hereafter.

  • jazzychick

    I didn’t know at all but I have seen different people post about him on Facebook he seemed like a very cool guy im praying for justice and peace for the family RIP

  • shalanda


Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.