Iowa State Signee Q&A: Caleb Berg

Cyclone Nation caught up with one of Dan McCarney's 26 signees for the 2003 recruiting class. Henderson, Nebraska's star-studded strong safety Caleb Berg was one of the most impressive high school players on ISU's recruiting highlight tape.

CN: Let's start with a few questions from our message board users. What are your plans for next season, as far as playing right away or redshirting?

Caleb Berg: I'm just going to come out to Ames this summer looking to play. If I redshirt, that's OK. I'm just looking to get myself ready to play.

CN: How big of an adjustment is it moving from high school football in small-town Nebraska to Iowa State and the Big 12?

Berg: It will be a big adjustment. The whole team's speed will be different, because I'm going from playing in a small division in Nebraska all the way up to Big 12.

CN: Are there any certain experiences that you feel have somewhat prepared you for Division I ball?

Berg: I've been working pretty hard lately, because I've sat out this basketball season to get stronger and faster. Hopefully that will help.

CN: You were one of the stars in ISU's padded camp last summer. Talk about the experience you gained over that two-day span?

Berg: I thought it was a lot of fun. You got to work with the coaches one on one. I was already committed, so it felt good. They were giving me a lot of instructions. It felt real good. Otherwise, you just go to any other camp and it felt like a coach was just telling you. This was different.

CN: What degree of interest did Nebraska express after your early commitment to the Cyclones? Did you ever consider changing your mind?

Berg: They actually didn't know what to do, because I verbally committed before even summer camp. I went to their summer camp first, did pretty well and tested out OK. Then I was talking to the coaches there, but they didn't know what to do. They said they'd talk to me later, which they ended up doing. They asked if I could come down to any games. I left it as, ‘I'm already committed to Iowa State and wasn't going to come to any games.'

CN: How much pressure did you feel as a Nebraska high school kid choosing to play for an out-of-state rival?

Berg: There was some pressure at times, because everybody sort of gets the feeling of wanting to play for the in-state team. I guess I don't get as much pressure as my youngest brother does. He always gets it at school with some jokes.

CN: Speaking of younger brothers, we hear a few of them could be pretty good football players like you. Who's the next Berg to catch the eye of college programs?

Berg: Miles, my younger brother, is a sophomore this year. He's got more finesse skills than I do. We'll have to see how he develops.

CN: Back onto your recruiting process, tell me how relieved you were to sign a letter of intent earlier this month?

Berg: It was really nice and was just waiting since I verbally committed a long time ago. It felt like a long time. But as soon as I signed on the dotted line, it was a relief because then it was finally finished.

CN: What type of player can Cyclone fans characterize you?

Berg: I guess I'm more of a physical player. I just like to hit. I like to get in there, be around the ball and have the knack of hitting.

CN: How did you and your team fare last fall?

Berg: I guess I did alright, but had more expectations for us. I'm more of a perfectionist and thought we would do a little better. We got to the second round of playoffs and lost to the state champions twice this season.

CN: When do you plan to report this summer?

Berg: I'll be coming over this summer to work out, and will report for good when all the freshmen do. I want to get over there and get used to the whole atmosphere, studying and college atmosphere. You've got to balance everything out as a student-athlete.

CN: What did you think of the year Iowa State had in 2002, and what do you think you can add in future seasons?

Berg: I hope I can bring my skills to the team and help it out. They had a good year, I guess. They started off good and finished off not so well. But that's alright.

CN: What events will you be running in track this spring?

Berg: I'll be doing the open 100 this year and the 4x100. I think my track coach is talking me into doing the mile relay, too.

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