Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Four-star LB Riley makes his choice
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The worst-kept secret in town about four-star linebacker Duke Riley became official with one, very excited tweet from Riley's"1Goal1Dream" Twitter account Wednesday night.
"Just committed to LSU on a full scholarship!!!!!" he Tweeted, adding extra exclamation points for emphasis. "I'll be there in June!"
Word spread early Wednesday that Riley, who had a grayshirt offer from the Tigers before Wednesday, would get a full offer from the Tigers. Hours earlier, Pompano Beach (Fla.) Boyd Anderson defensive back Eddie Jackson had chosen Alabama over LSU.
While it's not clear that there was a cause-and-effect relationship between Jackson's decision and LSU's decision to offer Riley a regular scholarship, it was clear throughout Riley's process that he wanted to go to LSU.
Riley -- who led River Ridge (La.) John Curtis to a Louisiana Class 2A state championship, a No. 5 national ranking in the ESPN 25 power rankings and a national title in other rankings -- spurned a chance to visit Ole Miss last weekend, opting to visit Baton Rouge despite the fact that Ole Miss had given him a full offer while LSU was hoping he'd take a grayshirt, a process where he would sit out next fall, then join the program for the spring semester.
Riley also had offers from Tulane, Minnesota and TCU, which visited Riley at his home Tuesday night. Rumors spread that Riley might commit to TCU on Wednesday.
But LSU scheduled an in-home visit and gave Riley what he was looking for, a full-fledged scholarship that would allow him to go to school an hour from home and play for the state's top program.
At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Riley is a smallish linebacker, but possesses exceptional speed that has led to speculation that he might be used as a safety, given that LSU lacks a safety in its class. LSU failed to land Jackson and Priest Willis and the one safety commit in the class, Jeremy Cutrer, might head to junior college because of academic issues.
But Riley was also a tackling machine playing linebacker next to 2014 ESPN Watch List prospect Kenny Young for the Patriots.