"We'll target kids that we want and go after them," Berry told WarhawkNation in a phone interview from the recruiting trail on Tuesday. "At this point, we can't take the standard shotgun approach. We have to take a sniper approach."
ULM coaches are fanning out this week gathering transcripts at high schools and planning on-campus visits in the next few weeks. Eventually, assistants will be assigned territories to cover, but in the short run they will be recruiting their positions.
ULM's big weekend for official visits will be Jan. 15-17, Berry said, calling it "huge."
The following weekend, Berry said ULM would primarily host players who have committed already. The Warhawks had a number of players who pledged before the coaching change, and Berry has said he'll honor those commitments – provided that the prospects are academic qualifiers and hold up their end of the bargain.
Based on need, Berry said that offensive and defensive linemen will be a focus of this class. He also said he'd like to find "an impact quarterback" and a punter and kicker.
Asked to predict the number of junior college players that ULM will sign this year, Berry said his initial class would include "four or five immediate need guys." ULM announced three mid-term transfers this week, in Trinity Valley defensive back Dan Jackson and Northeast Oklahoma offensive linemen Ryan McCaul and Jordan Karriman.
Berry prefers to build with high school talent, for the health of the program. "If you become too dependent on junior college players, you can become an upper-level junior college," Berry said.
Since ULM announced Berry's hiring on Dec. 16, he's been working behind the scenes to get ready – assembling a staff, planning, organizing and communicating. Through the holidays, he called as many current players as possible to introduce himself and outline his vision. Things will be different, he said, and he wants the Warhawks ready.
The players have their first team meeting on Jan. 18, where they'll learn what expectations Berry has for them going forward.
Berry plans to hire one additional assistant to his staff, to coach cornerbacks. He has offered the job to a candidate and is waiting on a replay.
Although he hasn't set a spring schedule in place yet, Berry said the spring game would be April 25. ULM will spread out spring practices on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule to give the staff more time for evaluation. "I'm excited about the football team we have coming back," Berry said.