From possible greyshirt to signee, Duke Riley had a rollercoaster ride of a recruiting process. With all that in the past, Riley is looking forward to finally making his dream a reality when he reports to LSU in a few days.
TSD's Hunter Paniagua spoke with Riley at the Louisiana State Track Meet. For that update, click the link below:
Riley ready for LSU
With athleticism and motivation a certainty, where he'll line up on the defense is still a question mark. As part of TSD's series breaking down the 2013 signees before they report to campus, check out this analysis of what led Riley to LSU, what skills he'll bring to the team and what kind of impact he'll have in his freshman season.
There was one offer Riley coveted throughout the recruiting process — LSU. He just had to wait a little longer for it to finally come. Gaining notoriety on the camp circuit and excelling for the national champion John Curtis Patriots, Riley was someone most LSU recruiting fans were familiar with. But with spots limited in the 2013 class, and a surplus of OLB talent already on board, it seemed uncertain whether Riley would ever earn a scholarship from the Tigers. LSU had offered him a greyshirt, but with full offers from schools like TCU and Ole Miss, Riley seemed he was heading elsewhere. But the LSU coaches encouraged him to reschedule an official visit to Oxford for one to LSU. He did, which showed his determination to the LSU coaches, and when a spot in the class opened up late, the staff turned to Riley and offered him a full scholarship, which he accepted immediately.
Riley is a sideline-to-sideline type linebacker. He has plenty of speed and a knack for getting to the ball-carrier, regardless of where he is on the field. His awareness and athleticism make him a guy that can play down in the box or drop back into coverage if need be. His speed will be his biggest strength as he certainly fits the mold of John Chavis' outside linebackers. But if Riley continues to grow — he weighs 215 pounds now — he has a skillset that would also translate to playing strong safety on the next level. Wherever he ends up, Riley has the motivation and determination to excel at any spot on the field.
A redshirt season isn't out of the question for Riley. With so much LB talent already on the roster, it will be hard for him to crack the depth chart there. And if he ends up at safety, it would probably be in his best interest to take a year to master the technique of the position and improve his coverage. But Riley is one motivated individual, and that's something that could get him on the field in Year 1. Riley would certainly be someone to excel as a special teams player early. It's been LSU's reputation to get young guys into the special teams unit, and that could be a perfect fit for Riley in his freshman season.
Prior to all players reporting to Baton Rouge on June 7th, TSD is analyzing LSU's 2013 signing class. Just in case you missed it, a full list of updates is below.
DE Michael Patterson
DE Lewis Neal
DE Tashawn Bower
WR Kevin Spears
OL K.J. Malone
CB Tre'Davious White
LB Kendell Beckwith
DEF Melvin Jones
OG Josh Boutte
DT Greg Gilmore
DE Frank Herron
TE Desean Smith
DT Maquedius Bain
Signee Update: Duke Riley
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