Ohio State is in the running for many of the nation's prospects in the 2015 recruiting class, no matter what part of the country that recruit may come from.
One of the many elite out-of--state players the Buckeyes are in the race for is Richmond (VA) St. Christopher's School linebacker/defensive end Ricky DeBerry, who is ranked as the number two player in the state of Virginia according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The 6'2, 240-pounder could end up playing either linebacker or defensive end at the next level, depending on his size going into college. There's also (naturally) a very good chance he could play a linebacker/defensive end hybrid role. A lot of colleges have stopped by to see the versatile defender.
"Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, Duke, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida, Boston College, and Michigan State," DeBerry listed as the colleges who have stopped by his school in the last week or so.
DeBerry recently set up an unofficial visit to Columbus in order to spend a weekend on the Ohio State campus and see what Ohio State is all about.
"Coach Smith and I set up a visit for the weekend of February 15th," DeBerry said.
"I'm just looking forward to seeing the campus and getting to know the coaches a little better," he said. "I already know Larry Johnson pretty well, so I'm looking forward to talking to him about Ohio State when I'm there."
Johnson, considered by many to be one of the nation's top recruiters, has already developed a pretty good relationship with DeBerry.
"We have a very good relationship right now," he continued. "My mom really likes him as a coach and person and I really like him too."
When he makes the trip to Columbus (and to other schools for the matter), there are a couple of things he'll be looking for on campus.
"I just pretty much want to see everything there is," he told Land-Grant Holy Land. "The dorm rooms, how the football players are treated as people – and not just as guys who go to the school to play football."
The standout defender made a handful of unofficial visits during the football season and really liked what he saw at on the respective college campuses.
"I really liked all of the visits I went on (in the fall)," he said. "During the season I went to Clemson to watch them play Georgia, Tennessee when they played Georgia, Penn State when they played Nebraska, and also an in-state game at Virginia Tech."
In addition to Ohio State, there are a couple of other schools DeBerry would like to see before he announces his college decision.
"Auburn, Miami, Texas A&M, Alabama, and probably some of the schools out on the West Coast," DeBerry listed as possible future visit destinations."
DeBerry has too many offers to list (over 40), but he hasn't begun the process of narrowing his list. He does have an idea of when he would like to make his decision, though.
"I haven't narrowed anything down yet. I'm just looking at all of the schools," DeBerry said. "I know I'll make [my decision] my senior season, but I'm not sure when yet. I'm going to talk to my family and we'll decide when is the best time to do it."
When it comes time to making the decision, there while be a couple of key factors that come into play.
"I want to go to a place I could see myself living for four years," he continued. "Also, a place my family is comfortable with and a good football program."
Already a force on the football field, there are a couple things the versatile defender wants to improve on between now and his senior season in order to take his game to the next level.
"You know, just working on my speed, using my hands, and quickness," DeBerry said.
It's really tough to get a read on the direction DeBerry is leaning right now. With close to 50 offers, he hasn't begun the process of narrowing things down and still has a lot of schools he wants to check out. It's huge for the Buckeyes to get him on campus and it's awesome he already has a strong relationship with new defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
While he doesn't have a set commitment date, my best guess would be for a decision at next year's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which is just a little less than a year away. This will be a very interesting race to follow as it progresses over the next year or so. I truly think DeBerry is one of the few that's actually wide open.
If you haven't seen the top-notch defender in action, make sure to check out his highlights here.