One of the top recruits in the 2015 class is quietly taking trips to many colleges this offseason. Linebacker Ricky DeBerry just finished up a weekend at Clemson and Georgia.
"The visits went great," said the Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher's product. "I got to try on the jerseys, meet the coaching staffs, see the facilities a little bit and see some of the campuses."
Each was slightly different but DeBerry liked many things about both schools.
"At Clemson, I got the see the lake and how the student body works," said the 6-foot-2, 237-pound DeBerry. "It's a very peaceful campus. It's not very big but there's a lot of stuff going on and is still relaxing. I really liked it a lot.
"I met Coach Venables and talked to Coach Swinney on the phone," he said. "He coaches a little league baseball team and they were at a tournament. They were very straightforward. I watched some film of the guys Coach Venables has coached. Not all the guys he's had were highly rated. Some of them were two-star recruits that he transformed and helped them become five-stars at the next level and get to the NFL. I really liked that a lot.
"The biggest thing that I liked about Clemson was how they develop their players," DeBerry said. "They have a hall of fame wall in the weight room that shows how they've progressed. I like how they keep a track record of everything you've done since you've been there. I also like the academics guy. He doesn't play around. If you miss a study hall, the coaches know and you won't practice that day. They take that very seriously. Coach Swinney is a big family man. He said that during spring practices they don't practice on the weekends so we can go home and spend time with our family."
After spending last Saturday at Clemson, DeBerry traveled to Athens to check out Georgia.
"I got a chance to walk around the facilities and see the weight room at Georgia," he said. "I sat down with Coach Olivadotti and he showed me some film on Jarvis Jones and some other guys that played on the Georgia defense and have gone to the NFL. What they've done with their players is fantastic. The things they teach their guys about edge rushing and alignment is by far some of the best I've seen. I can see why their guys get a lot of sacks.
"Jarvis Jones is one of the player's I really like to watch and compare myself to," said DeBerry. "He led the nation in sacks last year. When I watch film of him and slow it down there is a lot of techniques, he uses his hands well and there's a lot of things that he does that makes him one of the best that I've seen.
"You can tell that they make their players fulfill their potential and put them in position to benefit the team," he said. "They have a great tradition there as well. The coaches are great though and I really like them enough.
"The one thing that is really attracting me to Georgia is their defense,"DeBerry said. "What they've done with Jarvis Jones and those other guys, I really liked what they teach those guys. I really like their scheme for the edge rushers because that's one thing that I feel like I'm good at and want to do in college. Georgia is one of the top SEC schools and made it all the way to the conference championship game last year. I feel like they can make a good run for it again this year."
DeBerry is working on setting up his next set of visits.
"There's a possibility that I might be going back up to Tennessee and might go see Vanderbilt," he said. "I really want to go see Ohio State some time over the summer and I might get out to the west coast also."
DeBerry's father said via text that they are scheduled to attend the Clemson and Georgia game this coming year and will be visiting Penn State next Wednesday.
Almost every major college football program in the country has offered DeBerry a scholarship. However there are a few big names that have yet to pull the trigger.
"Recently, I've been talking with LSU a little bit and Alabama now and then," said DeBerry. "Also, I've been in touch with Texas A&M and Louisville.
"Right now I'm not really calling too many coaches," he said. "I'm just focusing on working out and getting ready for my upcoming season. I know a lot of coaches are on vacation and want to spend time with their families right now."
DeBerry was one of the few 2015 prospects to participate in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge earlier this month.