Riley will visit Arizona State this weekend

We first saw Dietrich Riley at the USC Skills Position Camp in 2008 and his performance at the camp was all USC head football coach Pete Carroll and his staff needed to see, and Riley was offered a scholarship after the camp.

At the time, it seemed as if USC was in great shape to end up signing Riley when he became a senior. But the Trojans have their work cut out for them as Riley has racked up offers from most of the top schools in the country the past year.

And for good reason, Riley is one of the elite athletes on the West Coast and many of us believe in the country. He plays running back, wide receiver, safety and at times, linebacker. The position Riley is being recruited for depends on the school.

Riley said he will be in Tempe on Saturday when the Trojans play ASU (unofficial visit) and at the Coliseum when USC plays UCLA (he is currently scheduled to visit Florida that weekend). He also said Florida is now recruiting him as a wide receiver. Some schools are recruiting Riley as an outside linebacker.

"I could see myself playing a role like Mike Morgan does at SC." Said Riley.

He still has high interest in USC, despite high praise for schools like Notre Dame (a school he could visit again) and Tennessee after his official visits, and an offer from No. 1 ranked Florida.

Florida is the defending national champs and in great shape to repeat, but Florida was 9-4 in 2007, because it had a young and inexperienced defense, much like the Trojans this year. We asked Riley if USC's performance in Eugene last Saturday will have any bearing on his interest in USC?

"How SC plays in one game isn't going to change how I look at SC," said Riley. " It's all about how they respond and bounce back. It's tough when you don't have (Stanley) Havili and (Anthony) McCoy on offense and lose Malcolm Smith, Everson Griffen and Armond Armstead on defense.

"And Oregon is a good team and executed extremely well. USC lost a lot of players on defense from last year and you're going to have games like that, and you have to get ready for the next one."

As a player, Riley knows all too well about rebounding from a tough loss and moving on. On Oct. 16, St. Francis experienced an extremely disappointing and painful loss to Notre Dame 28-24. The Golden Knights were driving late in the game and actually got to the six yard line after Riley caught about a 15-20 yard reception. There was less than a minute on the clock when St. Francis fumbled and Notre Dame recovered, and ran out the clock. It must have been a long red-eye flight for Riley to Chicago on his way to Notre Dame for his official visit? But Riley was blown away with his experience in South Bend.

St. Francis did rebound after the tough loss to Notre Dame and defeated Loyola 27-23, and St. Paul. 34-7. Riley missed the St. Paul game after injuring his ACL against Loyola, but he told us two days ago he expects to play against Alemany on Friday. He'll find out if he's cleared to play today.

Scout.com's updated ranking come out in in the next couple of weeks and we expect him to move up. It will be a huge surprise if that doesn't happen. Riley is hoping for the best when it comes to his final ranking, but in the end, he has scholarship offers from every school he wants and where scouting services rank him is irrelevant.

While it‘s always difficult to beat out USC for an elite local prospect, especially for an out-of-state school, Riley will choose the school and football program he feels most comfortable with. He truly is keeping an open mind when it comes to the recruiting process. Whichever school Riley chooses, they are getting one great kid and a great football player.

We'll speak to Dietrich Riley after his unofficial visit to Arizona State.


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