Sam Webb: Go back to your sophomore season, just take me back through how things went for you on the football field last year.
Ricky DeBerry: "Things went okay. Starting off the season, coach asked me if I could fill the role on defensive end since he had nobody to play that position. My natural position is outside linebacker. I accepted the responsibility and made first team All-State, first team All-Conference and got honorable mention All-Metro and led the team in sacks, third in tackles. Overall, I think I had a pretty good season and getting a lot of interest from a lot of different colleges. Starting to see offers from a lot of top schools around the country. So overall, I think my sophomore season was a success."
Sam Webb: Do you remember what your stats were such as tackles, sacks, etc?
Ricky DeBerry: "No, but I know my coach told me that I led the team in sacks, but he never actually gave me statistics."
Sam Webb: Tell me about your game. What makes Ricky DeBerry so good on the football field?
Ricky DeBerry: "High IQ of the game. A very quick first step off the ball, has a very high motor, uses his hands well, good size and speed, quick agility, overall a very good player."
Sam Webb: What is your height, weight and 40 time?
Ricky DeBerry: "I'm 6'2", 235 and the last forty I ran was a 4.63."
Sam Webb: I know since the first time I contacted you, you have gotten more scholarship offers, so kind of give me a list of the scholarship offers that you have on the table?
Ricky DeBerry: "Right now I have Clemson, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, North Carolina, Purdue, Iowa, and Penn State."
Sam Webb: Have you been out to visit any of those schools yet?
Ricky DeBerry: "Yes. I visited Kentucky... Virginia is 45 minutes from where I live, I visited Virginia Tech once and I am going to be revisiting them again on April 6. I visited Purdue, East Carolina, Penn State, Tennessee, and I visited North Carolina."
Sam Webb: I talked to your coach and he was telling me about your familiarity with Purdue with your sister going there. Give me an idea of what kind of role that plays into things. Does that make Purdue look a little more enticing to you?
Ricky DeBerry: "Yeah. My sister is a very high academic person, academics first. So me going up with her and seeing how the campus was and seeing the football team, meeting some of the coaches. It was a big plus. Plus my sister is one of these very picky type people. So if it is a good spot for her, it should be good for me. It is one of those pluses."
Sam Webb: I take it since she left and went to the Midwest, I take it that distance is not going to be a big factor for you. Is that accurate to say?
Ricky DeBerry: "Yes sir."
Sam Webb: So give me an idea of what the factors will be. When you get ready to sit down and make your decision, what are going to be the significant factors in that choice?
Ricky DeBerry: "First academics, I am going to be man longer than I am going to be a football player, so first is academics. Second is football, because what I want to go college to play football, coaching staff, player, championship contender, conference contender championship. Also, fan base, how loyal the fans are to the football team, how many sold out games, and also alumni support and alumni that currently support the team and the school."
Sam Webb: I talked to Coach Turner a little while ago. He told me that Michigan had come through the school. Did you have any familiarity with Michigan before that?
Ricky DeBerry: "No, I didn't. It was actually a shocker because most top-notch schools like that don't come through St. Chris because we are a highly academic private school. When I heard Coach Hoke was there it shocked me. It was great."
Sam Webb: What are your thoughts on Michigan at this point? Is Michigan a school that you are considering? Have you heard much from them lately? Kind of give me your thoughts on Michigan right now.
Ricky DeBerry: "Michigan is a school that we are interested in, Derrick Green, Wilton Speight, some of those guys who are already committed there. They have told me a lot of great things about them. The new outside linebacker coach who they just hired, Roy Manning, who also played at Michigan. I called him (last week) and got to talk to him and got to know him a little bit better. So Michigan is one of those schools I am very interested in."
Sam Webb: You talked to Roy on the phone… what was that interaction like?
Ricky DeBerry: "It was good. He was more concerned about great Michigan was and how great of a coach, Coach Hoke was, the history of Michigan. He was not really necessary concerned about if I was a great player. He was just telling me how great a place Michigan was."
Sam Webb: Did he talk to you at all about: A) getting you up on a visit or B) having you coming up for camp?
Ricky DeBerry: "He wants me to come up there, but he also says he is going to get down to Richmond, VA to come to see me, spring practice, things like that."
Sam Webb: You mentioned Wilton Speight and also Derek Green. First, do you know either of those guys or is it just football kind of connection with them?
Ricky DeBerry: "I do know those guys. My dad coached Derek Green in middle school. My dad is the one who put Derek Green at running back. He is the one who got him, not really to where he is, but he is the one who actually started putting him out at running back. Then Wilton Speight, he plays in the same league that I play in. My school and his school are rivals, so we have a good friendship, good relationship with each other, always talking. I have a good relationship with both of those guys."
Sam Webb: Give me an idea of how hard those guys are recruiting you. Are they taking it easy on you, are they coming at you hard? I mean, what is the recruiting pitch like from those guys?
Ricky DeBerry: "It's okay right now, you know, because they aren't really there right now but they both are telling me that Michigan is a great place. If I ever get a chance to visit, definitely go up there and visit. It is a great place to be, best stadium in the country, most beautiful stadium in the country. They said Coach Hoke is a great coach. They would rather be there any other place. I'm just taking it all in at this point."
Sam Webb: Lets talk a little more about visits. Are you going to be actively hitting the road to head out this spring. I know you said you have camps going on, but what about just unofficial visits. Are you going to be doing any of that in the coming weeks?
Ricky DeBerry: "Yeah, April 20, Alabama has invited me to go to their spring game, their A date, so I will be attending that. Also a lot of schools have invited me to go to their spring game on April 13 I will be attending Rivals Challenge camp. So you know I will be missing out on a lot of spring games so right now that is the only spring game I am attending."
Sam Webb: So you and Garrett Taylor are obviously very heavily recruited, I don't know how much you guys talk to each other about recruiting but is going to the same school something that you guys discuss?
Ricky DeBerry: "We talk about it every now and then. We both have a lot of similar offers together but every now and the topic comes is there a possibility we can both play on the same team or go on to play in the same conference even. The topic comes up a lot but you know we never know for sure until the signing day actually comes."
UM Starting to Connect with '15 VA DE DeBerry
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