Four-star defensive lineman Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer) has had a busy week. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound prospect camped Monday at Alabama, Thursday at Georgia and Saturday at Florida, but he admits his journey got off to a surprising start.
“Getting an offer from the Tide really caught me off guard,” Riles said. “The Alabama offer changes things, and I am highly considering them.”
In May, Riles mentioned Florida and Georgia as co-leaders, but on Sunday he was not ready to name a particular school as No. 1.
“Florida, and Georgia are still up there at the top, and Clemson, Tennessee and Texas A&M are in there as well,” he said. “But Alabama kind of shot up there, so I have to do some re-examining. I am pretty much set with the schools that I like, but it is starting to get really tough.”
The quality of his performance in Tuscaloosa was what earned Riles an offer from the Tide, and he had to earn it against two of the most coveted offensive tackles in the country.
“At Alabama I went up against Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) and Orlando Brown Jr. (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge), and they had some of the quickest feet I had ever seen,” Riles said. “Tunsil is not the No. 3 prospect in the country for nothing.”
“I had a lot of fun going up against the offensive linemen from Tri-Cities, and they look like college offensive linemen right now,” Riles said. “They are big, strong and have quick feet, so it was not a cakewalk with any of them. I even got a few reps at offensive line myself. They said I did a pretty good job, but I think I am going to stick with defense for now.”
Riles spoke of Alabama defensive line coach Chris Rumph as an uptempo instructor who cuts no slack while giving instruction, and he spoke well of the Bulldogs’ defensive line coach, too.
“It was fun getting coached by Coach [Rodney] Garner and I loved it,” Riles said. “The Georgia camp was very personal; he made me better and told me what I needed to work on to get better. Coach Garner said I did really well in the one-on-ones and said he really enjoyed coaching me. He is a really cool guy.”
With about eight months to go, the Bulldogs already have 20 commitments in the 2013 class, one more than Georgia signed during the previous recruiting cycle. Riles feels the success will continue because of a couple of off-campus recruiters.
“This is going to be a great class for Georgia,” Riles said. “With Tray [Matthews] and Shaq [Wiggins] doing a good job of pulling everybody in, I feel like they are going to fill all of their needs.”
His SEC camp tour concluded Saturday in Gainesville. Although Riles was limited because of a groin injury, he enjoyed his time at Florida as well.
“I hung out with Caleb Brantley the entire time, drinking Gatorade, so that was a lot of fun,” Riles said. “He was telling me how cool Florida was, the depth chart, and his experience with the program.”
The No. 29 prospect in Georgia has no specific plans for a decision, but he said he might soon take a few trips with fellow Peach State defensive end Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga./Chamblee). Riles also said that if he can get a ride worked out with his mom that he would like to attend the Mark Richt Camp, which starts Saturday at Georgia.