Oregon Firmly In The Mix For Riley

La Canada (CA) St. Francis four-star ATH, Dietrich Riley, is the definition of a football player. During his junior campaign, Riley saw action at running back, receiver, linebacker, and safety, fulfilling his duties at each one of these positions with impressive athletic displays. With a senior season looming, he holds offers from all over, though it appears Oregon has resonated with Riley.

Do you have an offer from Oregon?


What kind of contact have you had with Oregon?

"They've been coming by a lot lately. Coach [John] Neal came by recently and they've been trying to stay in contact with me as much as possible. They just visit with me and make sure I know that I'm a highly, top recruit for them and that it's a must that they get me."

How often would you say you're in contact with them?

"About once a week."

What is your overall interest in Oregon?

"I have a lot of interest in them. I don't have them ranked in my list, but that's a school I could come in right away because they're losing a lot of defensive backs, but they don't want me just as a defensive back or a safety. They said they need a highly, top-ranked running back who could get them 2,000 yards like Jonathan Stewart back in the day and they think that I'm that type of versatile player that can make good things happen for them on offense."

Is Oregon looking at you primarily at for a specific position, or just in general as an athlete?


Is there anything in particular that captures your interest when you think about Oregon?

"When they first mentioned the playing time situation, how they're going to lose a lot of defensive backs, or what they told me about the running back position -- how it's wide open to anyone and they're going to need me right away -- they said regardless, I'm going to make an immediate impact. All I have to do is catch on to the system and learn the right way and stay up to par with the offense and defense, or wherever I'm starting off on. Another is facilities, it's a great place -- Eugene, Oregon --, just all the alumni they have that came out of Oregon, just all the opportunities I could have once I graduate from that university. I could work anywhere."

How would you describe yourself as a running back and a safety?

"I'll start off at running back. I just have the total package, I think. I'm a flawless running back, I can do it all. I can pass block, I can spread out at wide receiver in the slot or in the Z or X [position]. I can also run the screens and also run the Wildcat, so I just think I have it all at the running back position. I have the speed, the size, the quickness, and my vision is just up to par and I just think I make great things happen when the ball is in my hand and I always put my team in great positions to win. As a safety, like I said, my size and I think that's a huge advantage as a safety. Tall, fast, big safeties they're rare to find. I can also play one-on-one coverage. At the All-American combine in Texas I was playing corner with no technique, I was just going out there playing, I didn't know what I was doing. It worked out great [though] and most colleges were impressed with how I performed. I just think I can play one-on-one, coverages...most safeties are good in open space when they can always play the deep pass, so I can also play Quarters or I can come up in the box, make the tackles, blitz, [etc.]. I just think I can do it all. I have great versatility."

Would you compare yourself to anyone at the collegiate or professional level at either running back or safety, or both?

"Well I don't really like being compared to others, because I just like being Dietrich Riley. That's just me. If it came down to it, at the running back, I'd compare myself to an Adrian Peterson because we're tall and I don't really run as high as him, but our size and our height, and just our running styles are very similar...we dip that head low and then we just shift into another gear and I think that is definitely very similar to my style. Our shiftiness, our lateral quickness from side-to-side...we can either run you over or we could also juke, and get by you. As a safety, I'd compare myself to Ed Reed. He's not as big as me, but just our quickness and our aggressiveness. Or like a Troy Polamalu, how I can just start off in the box and just run and play the deep third. You don't really see that too much that often. I had seen him make a play like that in the playoffs, and I just thought, man, that's similar to me. I can start off playing eight in the box and just run, full speed, and just get to the middle. [Like] Ed Reed, with our ball awareness, where I can get the ball at the highest point, loose hips, break out of our breaks, and can also bring you down right away. Those are three guys I really idolize in the NFL."

Do you have a preference as far as what position you might play at the next level?

"I'm not sure, but Oregon is recruiting me as a athlete. They like me as a running back, but I'm thinking they maybe want me as a safety like to replace Patrick Chung and by the time I come in, they're going to be graduating most of their defensive back corp, so they think I could come in right away and make huge impact as long as I catch on a learn the system right away."

What are you looking for in a program?

"Well a school with great academics. [Oregon] sent me -- because I told them I'm really interested in the Sports Management department -- and they sent me a whole booklet on the program and all that and I just thought that was real nice of them, Coach kept his word and he made sure it was sent right away. That's first and foremost, academics. Also, a coach that I can bond with and vibe with. A coach that's very honest and NFL experience and sends his players to the next level and develops great student athletes and great men. A school with a great alumni system and a great college town, student-oriented...a great college atmosphere at the games. I just want to go to a game where, no matter what's going on in the game or whatever, it's just loud. I hear lots of things about Oregon, how they're fans are just craaazy and I've always wanted to witness that because I've always watched it on TV, but have always wanted to go to a stadium where it's just jam-packed and just loud and everyone on their feet. I just hear lots of things about the Oregon fans, so that's something I'd like to check out. I'm not really worried about distance or whatever, staying close to California and my family, because they're behind me and showing great support throughout this whole process and they're behind me 100%."

What offers do you currently hold from other schools?

"I have USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Cal, Washington, Baylor, Tennessee, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama...it's kind of hard to name them off the top of my head."

Do you have any favorites at this point?

"No, not yet. Once the summer hits and I start taking my unofficial visits or officials, that's when I'll get an understanding of which schools I'd like to eliminate off my list. Once the season hits in the fall, that's when I'm going to start focusing more on my potential college and start taking some official visits to get to know them more."

Do you have a timetable for possibly making a decision?

"Yeah I'm going to wait 'till after the season so I can focus on my team because I first have to get through high school, so I'm focused and dedicating myself to the St. Francis football team, then the whole recruiting will come along. Maybe January 22. That's the date for my mom's birthday and that's a Friday so that's something I'm maybe leaning towards."

Have you been to any camps this spring, or are you planning on attending any camps this summer?

"Yeah, I'm going to the USC Rising Star camp, that's about it. Maybe the B2G Elite camp out here at Thousand Oaks, that's about it. I don't want to wear myself out and go to too many camps."

Have you taken any unofficial visits or are you planning on taking any unofficial visits?

"The only [ones] I've been to are USC, UCLA, Tennessee my sophomore year and I wouldn't even count that as an unofficial because I was just on campus and Coach called Casey Clausen and he set up the whole thing, but that's about it. I'm going to have to sit down with my family and start doing some lists, figuring out which schools I'm really interested in, and [then] checking them out."

Dietrich Riley profile

eDuck Top Stories