Ricky DeBerry is an elite outside linebacker in the class of 2015.
DeBerry, out of St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va., stands 6'2.5 and weighs in at 255 pounds. As of June, he's rated as a five-star prospect by Scout, and a four-star by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN. Scout ranks him as the second-best OLB in the class. The 247Sports Composite ratings, a compilation of data from the four major recruiting services, lists him as the 70th-best player in America, fifth-best at his position and fourth-best from the state of Virginia.
DeBerry is receiving interest from just about every major program in the country. He holds scholarship offers from Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech, among many others.
Fans can follow DeBerry on Twitter at @TheFranchize__.
There is a lot to like about DeBerry. The first thing that jumps out is his excellent size. Just shy of 6'3, DeBerry already has college-ready musculature. He is a unique player with a unique build and that makes his projection and evaluation somewhat different, as most elite players can easily be pigeonholed into roles.
DeBerry is very powerful in taking on blocks. He is not the longest player, but if he gets his hand on a blocker, he can deliver a jolt and control him before shedding. That part of his game needs to become more consistent, however, because he is a better chase player at this stage.
Against the pass, he shows good burst off the edge and can get under the pads of blockers, both with the bull rush and with a move to bend the edge low.
He'll likely end up as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and in doing so, must work to retain some flexibility so that he is not a liability in pass coverage.
DeBerry reminds me quite a bit of former Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw. Both players were just shy of 6'3, yet both were over 250 pounds with similar stocky, powerful builds. Both also had very impressive explosion.