Always Thinking

Before Dietrich Riley closes his eyes for bed every night, the class of 2010 prospect from La Canada, Calif., says he ponders whether he'll be carrying the football on the next level or shutting down receivers as a defensive back.

Pete Carroll and Rick Neuheisel don't have an answer for Dietrich Riley either, but they do know this. The respective USC and UCLA head coaches know they want the 6-foot-1, 180-pound St. Francis High standout in their respective programs.

"I actually think about that every night, and I really don't know," Dietrich Riley laughed. "I have two more years of high school, so maybe after this season, whatever side of the ball I dominate on and have a great year, that will probably be the position that I'll play in college.

"Whatever my heart feels, that's what I'm going to do."

As a sophomore, Riley had 840 yards rushing and five touchdowns, as St. Francis struggled through injuries to a 4-6 record. On the other side of the ball, he had 48 tackles, two sacks and a pick.

USC offered at Riley their Skills Camp back in June. UCLA joined the mix a couple weeks after that.

"They're both definitely telling me I can make a huge impact in their programs," Riley said. "They were definitely telling me they can see me playing right away as a freshman. That was another thing that caught my attention because me and my family have been talking about me playing right way. If I have to red-shirt, I'll red-shirt, but UCLA is telling me I can come in right away and earn a spot."

Riley is also getting mail from the likes of Washington, Washington State, Wake Forest and Tennessee. He hopes to soon hear from Notre Dame.

Another thing Riley often thinks about before drifting off into dreamland is what schools he likes the most.

"USC, UCLA, Notre Dame of course because they've always been a high powerhouse," said Riley, as he began to reel off some of his favorites. "I also like Florida and Tennessee. I took an unofficial visit up to Tennessee during spring break and I got to watch them practice. They're definitely on the list. I also like Oregon and Texas. That's about it."

As of right now, Riley isn't hearing much from Notre Dame, but a current Irish verbal commit hopes that soon changes.

Marlon Pollard and Riley go back a little bit. Before Pollard transferred to Cajon High, he played at Valencia and they scrimmaged St. Francis. Pollard, who committed to the Irish last month, has also defended Riley at a couple different passing camps.

"He's a good cornerback," Riley stated. The two were talking over the Instant Messenger a couple weeks ago.

"He was telling me about his visit and everything," Riley said. "I was telling him that I'd like to take a visit up there and check out the campus, the stadium and meet the coach. I've always been a big fan of their program."

Riley reports a GPA of 2.6. He sees himself making his college decision as enters his senior year.

"I want to weigh my options and see who is looking at me, and give everyone a chance for me to hear what they have to say," Riley explained.

"Wherever me and my family feel the most comfortable is where I'm going to decide. Whatever school is the most interested in me and where I have a bond with the coach. Definitely a great atmosphere, great environment and great team. Wherever I feel comfortable.

"I think about this too sometimes."


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