March 31, 2010
Unique Riles picking up multiple offers
Last season Ladarius Owens out of Bessemer (Ala.) Jess Lanier was a unique prospect. He was a major disruptor on the field at defensive end but he had the size of a linebacker. Despite that conundrum, Owens became a national recruit thanks to his athleticism and ended up signing with Auburn. This year one of Owens' teammates is on track to having a similar recruitment.
Jervohnte Riles is a very impressive prospect physically, standing at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. At the next level he could project at outside linebacker, defensive end or tight end. Perhaps he could even play wide receiver - the primary position he plays in high school.
Regardless of where he plays, Riles is garnering plenty of college attention. He holds offers from Mississippi State, Southern Miss and South Carolina with interest from schools like Georgia and Tennessee.
"Mississippi State was the first offer," Riles said. "I was ecstatic. It's a D-I college and it's real nice. I have two former teammates that go there."
Mississippi State, along with most of the other programs recruiting him, like Riles as an athlete.
"Everyone is recruiting me as an athlete except Alabama and Auburn," he said. "They're recruiting me as an outside linebacker. I like receiver and offense because I like to catch but I know that it's a business in college and I'll play wherever I'm needed."
Riles' unique situation extends to his junior season. Due to a broken wrist, he was unable to play most of the year full time. However, he was still able to make an impact.
"I didn't play too many games because my wrist was broken but when it healed up I had probably 15 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown I has was in a playoff game against Pelham. I played all of the games but the majority of the time I was just on special teams."
As the recruiting game heats up, Riles is taking in several visits. He has already been to Auburn and Alabama junior days and this weekend will be jam-packed with three more. Thursday he will visit Tennessee, followed by Southern Miss on Friday and Ole Miss on Saturday.
"I'm very excited about it," Riles said of the trip. "I want to go to see new places. I want to see if I can feel like I'm at home and talk to people with their head on straight and that there aren't people talking crazy or anything like that."
As an Alabama native, it would seem natural for Riles to be a big fan of either of the major in-state programs. However, the one offer he really has his eye on is LSU.
"I grew up an LSU fan," he said. "LSU and Florida. LSU has always been my first one. If they offered me, I'd be really really happy. I'm already happy because I'm getting offers but if LSU offered me I'd be really really happy."
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