While driving home from North Carolina’s camp on Sunday, Jordon Riley’s cell phone rang. It was Chris Howell, his head coach at Durham (N.C.) Riverside. Howell called to inform Riley that the 2017 defensive lineman had received a scholarship offer from his childhood favorite school.
“It means a lot, because I grew up a UNC fan and my family are diehard Tar Heel fans,” Riley said. “I was excited. It was a dream come true.”
Riley’s high school experience is at defensive end, but at 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, he has the size to play defensive tackle.
“When I went to the one-on-ones [during UNC’s camp], they played me at all spots – I’d play the five-[technique] and then I’d play the three-technique then nose [tackle],” Riley said. “I play D-end, so I’m most comfortable at D-end. But I can play D-tackle if I needed to.”
Coming out of the football season, Riley possessed offers from NC State and Old Dominion. Since then, he has added Auburn, UNC, Tennessee, and Wake Forest.
“If I were to choose today, UNC would be in my top three,” Riley said. “My top three would probably be Florida State, Auburn, and North Carolina. They just produce great D-linemen at all three schools. And I like what they’re doing with their programs and their coaches.”
UNC’s camp provided Riley a chance to be coached up by Tray Scott, the Tar Heels’ new defensive line coach.
“When I first met Coach Scott, we clicked automatically,” Riley said. “I like what he’s trying to do. I feel like I can be coached by him. He helped me get better – he helped me better my technique.”
Riley actually met Scott about a week prior to camp when Riley dropped by campus. In fact, Riley was introduced to UNC’s entire defensive staff by Larry Porter, who recruits Durham for the Tar Heels.
“Coach [Gene] Chizik was like, ‘Why haven’t I met this kid yet?’” Riley said.
After their introduction, Scott gave Riley a quick tour of UNC’s facilities.
Besides UNC, Riley has camped at Wake Forest. Later this week, he’ll camp at Florida State and Tennessee. He’ll then attend camps at Auburn and LSU in July.
Riley plans to return to UNC for a game this fall.
UNC Offer Dream Come True for Riley
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