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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Four-star LB Riley's recruitment taking off

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- For linebacker Duke Riley (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), his days are packed.

So are his nights.

By day, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound four-star prospect is finishing his senior year after leading Curtis to a Class 2A Louisiana state title.

At night, he's entertaining an almost daily barrage of college recruiters in what has become an expedited process for Riley.

Duke Riley
Four-star linebacker Duke Riley would have to take a grayshirt were he to choose LSU.
"You have to understand, for him the process didn't really start until the second week of December," said legendary Curtis coach J.T. Curtis, the winningest coach in Louisiana prep football history. "So he's trying to go through the whole process in a short time."

Tulane was considered an early leader -- but since season's end, major programs have come calling, including LSU. The Tigers offered Riley a chance to join as a grayshirt, meaning he would sit out the fall semester and join the team for the spring semester.

His living room has seen Les Miles and Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze pass through. An in-home visit from LSU last week helped convince him to head to Baton Rouge last weekend for an official visit instead of Ole Miss. There's still a chance he'll go to Oxford this weekend, Curtis said.

Other major programs are also after him. He visited Minnesota the week after the Patriots won the state title and was scheduled to have an in-home visit from the Gophers Monday. TCU, which has stopped by once already and got an early January official visit from Riley, is expected to visit again on Tuesday.

Tulane also received a visit. The Green Wave already have commitments from four of his Curtis teammates.

There's no doubt which his favorite would be, all things being equal.

"He has a great interest in LSU," Curtis said.

But things aren't equal in terms of what is being offered. LSU is the only one asking him to wait while the others will allow him to join the team in August. The blueprint for LSU's 2013 recruiting class did not call for linebackers, so LSU would rather save him for the 2014 class, where a need will be there. The Tigers are hoping to use the scholarship to land players at need areas, like the secondary and the defensive line.

It gives Riley a lot to think about as he has condensed a recruiting process that, for some, drags out well over a year, into less than a two-month window after Curtis won its state title.

"It's a process," Curtis said. "He's going to get as much information as he can."