Minerva Soph Is One To Watch

Minerva sophomore Jake Riley was impressive Saturday at the Stark Football Jamboree in Canton, Ohio. Riley played defensive back, exhibiting quick feet and the ability to cover players in space. After being moved up to the varsity last year as a freshman, Riley will be expected to take a bigger role this season. Bill Greene interviewed Riley following the action.

One of the advantages of attending a 24-team 7on7, like the Stark County Jamboree, is the ability to see younger players that have not hit the radar of college recruiters yet.

A player that stood out last Saturday was Minerva (OH) defensive back Jake Riley. Riley, 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, stood out in one-on-one coverage, showing the ability to run with smaller players.

"I got moved up to the varsity late in the year last year, and I played defense at strong safety," Riley stated. "This year, I will play safety and wide receiver on offense. Today, I played mostly safety, but I played cornerback too. I thought I played alright, but I need to get a lot better."

Minerva head coach Brett Yeagley praised his young athlete, both for his talent and his work ethic.

"We moved him up last year and he did really well," Yeagley stated. "We're counting on him to do a lot more for us this year, playing both ways. He's a great kid, who wants to get better. Looking down the line, he could fill out to 225-pounds and play outside linebacker in college. I've already talked with some colleges about him, like Iowa State recently."

Playing college football interests Riley, and he discussed his future plans.

"I definitely want to play college football some day," Riley stressed. "I'd love to play for the Air Force Academy, because my sister is there. I want to be able to combine my academic talent with football, to get the best of both worlds."

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