Things Heating Up Between Riley And ND

Dietrich Riley plans to visit Notre Dame. It's just a matter of when.

Notre Dame is hoping to host the class-of-2010 athlete from St. Francis High in La Canada, Calif., this weekend, as the Irish football team hosts Syracuse.

"I'm still debating because I have a playoff game on Friday," Riley said. "Me and my family don't know if it's for sure yet.

"If I don't have a chance to go up there Saturday, I know I'm for sure going to the USC-Notre Dame game because it's up here, but I'll for sure go out there after my season. I'll fly out there."

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Riley already holds scholarship offers from USC, UCLA and Arizona. A lot of other programs are beginning to come on heavy like California, Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford, Wake Forest, Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Notre Dame.

The Irish coaching staff has had Riley on the radar for awhile, but recently started upping the mail, and assistant coach Brian Polian came by the school a few weeks ago.

"I wasn't able to visit with him because I was off campus, but he came and watched some film my coach said," Riley explained. "He said they were really interested with what they saw."

Riley has been in touch with Polian off and on. In fact, the two talked on Monday, as Polian was trying to see if Riley was coming to South Bend. Other than that, the two catch up and talk about Riley's season and how he's doing and what not.

Notre Dame freshman quarterback Dayne Crist is actually the person who put Riley in touch with Polian.

"I've been talking to Dayne Crist a lot," Riley said. "He's most definitely been in my ear about the school, and trying to persuade me to come up there."

Riley has also talked with Irish class-of-2009 verbal commit Marlon Pollard in the past about Notre Dame. The California network is working well for the Irish, with Crist and Pollard both hailing from the Golden State.

"They're definitely one of my favorite schools," Riley said. "I'd have to say they're at the top of my list. I grew up watching them, and I actually got a chance to sit down and watch them play Navy, and that was a good game.

"They've definitely made a huge turnaround with the program after winning only two or three games last season. And they have a good class coming in with Shaq Evans from Inglewood, and Cierre Wood and all of them."

In helping lead St. Francis to a 6-4 record and a spot in this weekend's playoffs, Riley has rushed for around 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has 40 tackles and two sacks from his weak-side linebacker spot, although he projects as a defensive back on the next level.

In the loss last Friday, Riley rushed for 299 yards, had 350 yards all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

"I could be having some higher stats, but earlier in the year I was bothered with a back injury and I missed one game, and I wasn't able to perform up to my potential early in the season," Riley said. "But it's alright as long as we're in the playoffs."

Riley looks forward to taking trips and attending junior days this spring. In January, he is also going to attend the U.S. Army All-American junior combine in San Antonio.

"I'm definitely getting excited for that," Riley stated. "I'm pumped."

You can say the same about Riley and his interest in Notre Dame. Top Stories