Scout five-star linebacker Ricky DeBerry admits just thinking about narrowing his list of schools seems daunting.
But one thing is certain: Once the initial trimming process begins, Tennessee will surely make the cut.
"I really like Tennessee. That's just a great place," DeBerry told InsideTennessee. "I like everything about Tennessee. I want to go back and check out another game there next season for sure."
The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder is clearly high on the Vols, but says he has to take several visits before he has a clear list of early leaders.
"It'll just be a process of elimination. You know, going and visiting schools and seeing what I like and dislike," DeBerry said. "Looking at the pros and cons. And just trying to find a school I could see myself at for four years of my life. There are still a lot of schools I want to visit. I'm not close to narrowing my list or anything."
On those coming visits, DeBerry will be gauging how comfortable he feels on campus, asking about a given school's tradition and wanting to get a feel for the fan base.
Those are the factors that matter most. And all are factors DeBerry knows he can find at Tennessee.
"The tradition, I really love that about Tennessee. They have all the fan support in the world, which is really, really great," DeBerry said. "Overall, that tradition is just great. Great campus, great atmosphere, really, it just seems like a great place to be. It has what I'm looking for."
The Virginia native has taken in two games at Neyland Stadium, the most recent being the Vols' overtime loss to then No. 5-ranked Georgia.
Although the visit was way back in October, it's far from forgotten.
"I remember being really, really impressed with everything about Tennessee," DeBerry said. "The fans are just awesome. They were loud all game long. You can feel the love."
Other than wanting to soak in another game on Rocky Top, DeBerry said next up on his Tennessee "wish list" is wanting to get to know head coach Butch Jones better.
"I've heard all these really great things about (Butch) Jones. I want to get to know him," DeBerry told IT. "We've met twice, but we've never really talked one-on-one, face-to-face, you know? I'd love to get to know him better. I've heard so much. I'm always hearing stuff."
DeBerry said he hears about the Tennessee program from several different directions, saying many Vol fans reside in his hometown of Richmond and also from Tennessee freshman wideout Josh Malone.
"Me and Josh, we're pretty good friends and we talk from time to time," DeBerry told IT. "He tells me that time is changing at Tennessee and that he feels comfortable and believes in Butch Jones. He says the program is turning around and you can't go wrong with Tennessee."
DeBerry said he talks most with Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek, describing their relationship as "great."
"We have a very awesome relationship," DeBerry told IT. "We talk all the time. He's a real good, funny guy. I really want to get a chance and meet in person again. I like him a lot."
DeBerry said he wants to play his college ball for a winning program, but says he overlooks records when contemplating Tennessee.
"You look at that recruiting class (Tennessee) has in 2014, and that's something special," DeBerry said. "That tells you there's something special going on there and a lot of kids are buying in – and it's easy to see why."