When James Franklin took over as the head coach at Vanderbilt, there were a few relationships that he had built up in Maryland that he wanted to continue. One of those was Baltimore (MD) Polytechnic corner Donovan Riley.
Franklin invited Riley down for a spring practice this past weekend, where the 6-0, 185-pound corner was informed that the Commodores were offering him. Already with a Virginia Tech offer, Riley was excited about gaining his second offer.
"It felt great just to get an offer from a school that's in one of the greatest conferences in the United States," Riley said. "I feel extremely blessed. (Franklin) welcomed me and my dad with open arms. The coaches have a lot of energy. I like how they interact with their players, and how they coach their players up."
Riley also likes the academic focus of a place like Vanderbilt.
"That's one of the major selling points; the academic piece there," Riley said. "My parents have always instilled in me educational values. That's going to be very important in my recruiting process, wherever I decide to go."
With two very impressive offers so far, Riley is not done yet. He is planning to get a look at Maryland's spring practice, but is set to go up to Pittsburgh to watch their spring practice on April 9. Riley attended Pitt's prospect camp as a sophomore. He was recruited by Pitt's previous coaching staff, and has also developed a relationship with Todd Graham's staff, as well.
"Hopefully I'll get an opportunity to speak with all the coaches," Riley said of his upcoming trip. "(Tight ends) coach (Tony) Dews, I've talked with him. I look forward to seeing those guys fly around on the football field."
Riley intends to take that same focus that he had in going to Vanderbilt—trying to learn more about the coaching staff and just being on campus—in going to Pittsburgh, even though he's already been at a Pitt camp before, and the fact that he's been at Pitt for a game. He looks forward to seeing the new coaching staff in action.
"There's some strong interest," Riley said of Pitt. "We have it on our schedule, so I'm going to go up and check it out. Pittsburgh was the first school I attended a camp at, and I did well. They've showed a strong interest. Coach Dews says they're very interested in me. That's good as far as Pittsburgh goes."