Target 2004: Billy Riddle

MOCKSVILLE, N.C. -- If Davie County free safety Billy Riddle is going to play for the Tar Heels, the UNC coaches are going to have to prove to him that they want him. Riddle currently lists Wake Forest, Clemson, East Carolina, Duke and UNC as his top five – in that order.

However, Riddle is expecting a visit from UNC assistant coach James Webster in the next couple of months, and he says the Tar Heels still have an excellent chance if a solid offer is made.

"I want to play for the team that wants me the most," Riddle said. "That's what I'm looking for, whoever that may be. If I got a real solid offer and they were really interested in me, then I would probably commit early."

Riddle recorded 124 tackles as a junior, with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

According to War Eagles' head coach Doug Illing, a former teammate of UNC assistant Gunter Brewer at Wake Forest; when Riddle joined the football team in the fall of 2001, he was timed in the 40-yard dash at 5.0 seconds. But after running track in the spring, he had lowered his time down to 4.5 seconds. Then last summer at camp in Chapel Hill, he trimmed that number down to 4.4.

And he carries a big stick, too, in his 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame. While Riddle has no problem covering his opponents' speediest receivers, his specialty is filling up the alleys and making the big stop on the toss plays.

"He's a very aggressive, physical player," Illing said. "He doesn't mind mixing it up. His speed helps him get to the right spot, though sometimes he gets there a little too quick.

"He wants to be the best in the state, and to do whatever it takes to keep playing football in the future. He has a tremendous work ethic. He's never satisfied with how good he is, or what he is."

Riddle has no offers on the table yet, but they're coming. And there is no question the Demon Deacons have taken the early lead for Riddle's services.

"When I went to Wake, the coaches were very personable," he said. "They wanted to meet me as a person, not just as a player."

And his impressions of his time spent on the UNC campus:

"I went to Carolina's three-day camp last year and got to meet the coaches. I liked them a lot, and I like the facilities a lot. It's just neat to go around and see all the weight rooms and how big of an ordeal it is in college, and how they're focused just on football.

"It's a nice program they have up there."

Billy Riddle
Height: 5-11
Weight: 180
Position: RB
40-time: 4.48

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