Huskers latest to offer South Dakota D.E.

Unless you are from South Dakota , you might be hard pressed to name even one NFL player who ever came out of the state. Recent NFL Draft pick Chad Greenway was one, but can you name another? It's impossible to say if defensive end Riley Reiff will duplicate Grenway's effort, but at least when it comes to recruiting, he's off to a pretty good start.

You probably never get a sense of how big of a recruit you will be until you actually start getting recruited. That could be the case for South Dakota prep star Riley Reiff. The location alone could be a deterrent, because off the top of your head just how many native South Dakotans can you name who have played in the NFL?

Besides Chad Greenway


Well, Riley Reiff will be another, and while he's not ready to etch his name into the wall of those from his home state drafted into the NFL, he's not going to think that he's some kind of aberration from the upper Midwest . "I'm confident in what I can do. I think that I can play this game and I can only get better," Riley said.

Reiff has a good starting point, the two-way start standing 6 foot, 6 inches and weighing just under 230 pounds. Combine that with 4.7-4.8 speed and you can see at leas physically how much potential he has.

One of the curious and even uncommon things about Riley isn't his size or that he is projected to play any position from defensive end to offensive tackle. It's that someone of his height is one of the best high school wrestlers in the country. Riley has only one loss in the last three years, out of 113 matches. And in the last two he hasn't even been taken down. Riley isn't sure that wrestling is his ultimate future, but he knows that this sport has certainly helped the other. "All the experience you get with your upper body in wrestling really helps you in using your hands at the line," Reiff said. "I know how to get around guys, behind them or move them or I know how to keep from getting moved. I know I wouldn't be as good on the field as I am if it wasn't for wrestling."

Riley has managed to translate that on-the-mat capability to on-the-field-brilliance at times, accumulating over 130 tackles in the past two seasons, including 19 sacks.

While the competition against which those statistics were achieved won't necessarily get you a lot of attention in South Dakota , Riley's sheer size, athleticism and wrestling-inspired ability at the line definitely did. To the tune of three offers thus far, but the majority of the attention he's received has developed fairly recently. "I've got three offers, but the Iowa offer came last year, and the offers from Minnesota and Nebraska came just this last week," he said.

You'd think that being a border-state of Nebraska , Riley would have some fairly decent familiarity with the Cornhuskers. But it's probably not hard to understand when you look at his record in wrestling, that his mind was on other things. "I really wasn't all that interested in football until a couple of years ago. I just didn't follow it all that much," Riley said.

That said Reiff indicated that of what he did know about the Huskers, all of it was good. "They've been a successful program and they have traditionally a pretty good defense, but I don't really know a lot more about them. I'm really just learning about everyone right now," he said.

Riley describes his current situation in recruiting as ideal. That's probably not a surprise, especially coming from someone residing in a town of barely over a thousand people. But it's not the status he's achieved he's concerned about as much as it is figuring out what he wants to do, now that he has his choice. And that he said, is going to take some time.

"I'm not really interested in just making a decision to get it out of the way, because I've got a lot to learn about these schools and other schools if they decide to recruit me," he said. "I don't know if I will make my decision before my season or maybe at some point during it. I guess I will just have to see how that goes."

Reiff did say that the three schools which have offered him are his obvious favorites right now, but none of the three stand above the other two. And he's entertaining any and all interested parties. Riley has a 3.4 GPA

Big Red Report Top Stories