Last weekend saw defensive lineman Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer) make his second visit to Knoxville this spring, taking in the Volunteers’ spring scrimmage. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound prospect has also checked out Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky. Two programs stand out at the top right now for the Bainbridge native.
“Georgia and Florida are at the top, followed by Clemson,” Riles said. “I have been watching Georgia and Clemson since I was a little kid, and I actually hated Florida growing up, but when I went down there I found out the coaches and environment are really cool.”
Riles spoke well of each of his top three.
“Georgia has great players, great coaches and a great environment,” Riles said. “Gainesville is a great place with good coaches and a great history of players. I grew up watching Clemson. They are pretty much running the ACC right now.”
The defensive lineman would like to be make his commitment as soon as possible, but admits that might it has been easier said than done.
“I am trying to get the process over with, but I am going to take a little more time because I want to make the right decision,” Riles said. “Honestly I thought after I got an offer from Clemson or UGA that it would be over, but Florida snuck in there before I actually knew UGA had offered. I want to commit before the season, but if I need more time I will take my officials.”
As Riles continues to evaluate his options, he is expecting several programs to come by his high school over the next month. Troy and California came by Monday, and Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Miami, Kentucky, Louisville, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan State, and Wisconsin are some of the schools that have let him know they will be stopping in soon.
Riles was able to meet one of his role models last month while in Athens for VID Day.
“Coach [Rodney] Garner and I were at the gym meet, and I saw Ray Drew,” Riles said. “When I was a freshman and sophomore I looked up to him because of his ranking, so I watched his film and tried to learn from him. We started talking and we ended up hitting it off, and now I am good friends with him.”
Riles still hopes to make the trip back up to Georgia soon to spend a weekend with Drew. As it stands, the two could become not just close friends, but also teammates.
“He is very spiritual, like Mark Richt, and he is playing some defensive end now, so he is working with Coach Garner now, too,” Riles said. “I know Garner and Richt are not going anywhere, so it would be cool to play together under them with Drew."