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DE Antonio Riles digs Athens atmosphere

One of the emerging prospects in the Peach State was all set to visit Georgia on Saturday for Very Important Dawg Day, but with his mom scheduled to work Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer) instead made plans to take her Friday to Athens to meet the Bulldogs’ coaching staff. That plan also fell through, but the 6-foot-4, 260-pound rising senior managed to make the trip up with a couple of teammates Friday night.

Although he grew up a fan of the Bulldogs, this was Riles’ first time on campus.

“I was able to see all of the football facilities, and seeing Sanford Stadium was really cool,” he said. “Athens is a pretty open town and I liked being able to see what student life was like. Watching a gym meet that night, it got me to thinking if that atmosphere was that crazy I could only imagine what Sanford is like on a Saturday for a football game. I really had a good feeling about the visit, and it felt like a great place.”

While in Athens, Riles was able to spend some time with the staff that would one day coach him, were he to choose to play for Georgia.

“Coach Todd [Grantham] and Coach [Rodney] Garner talked with me about their scheme,” Riles said. “They said I am a hybrid player that they can use me in different places, depending on the situation. I like the coaches and what they have been doing the last couple of years. “

Most of Riles’ time was spent with one of Georgia’s more prominent recruits in the last few years, and the experience provided Riles with some prospective on playing for the Bulldogs.

“I hung out with Ray Drew for most of the night and he talked to me about why he picked Georgia out of all of his offers,” Riles said. “I asked about practice and he said it gets pretty intense, but it is like that because they want to win, so I like that. Ray said he likes Coach Garner because he knows what he is doing and he has put guys in the NFL like Richard Seymour.”

Riles has also taken visits to Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, and he made his way Saturday over to Clemson with some other prospects from Gwinnett County.

“I went up with Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson), David Kamara (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) and [recent transfer from Florida] Kyrin Priester (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood) up to Clemson, and that visit was about the same as Georgia,” Riles said. “They were my favorite schools growing up, and the only difference is really ACC/SEC.”

With his recruitment recently taking off and offers coming in, Riles is in no rush to make a decision.

“Of course I like all of the schools I have looked at, but I do not want to start to narrow anything down without seeing all there is to see,” Riles said. “I am going to Tennessee this weekend, and hopefully I can see some team practices after that.”