October 6, 2009
Riley happy with offer from Florida
He couldn't contain himself.
"I started hopping around," Riley said. "I started running around the house. I was happy."
Not only is Riley, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound recruit, pleased the Gators are now involved but he's trying to plan an official visit to Gainesville.
Coach Brian White was on the coast last week and Riley hopes by the end of this week a date can be finalized. Speaking with Meyer was a big step for Riley, rated as the No. 10 safety and No. 94 recruit in the 2010 class by Rivals.com.
"I've been waiting for them to offer for quite a while," Riley said. "I mentioned that in all my interviews. Good things happen to those who wait. I was very patient throughout this whole process and I finally landed the offer.
"(Meyer) was talking for quite a while, he's great friends with my coach, so they have a good history and that's definitely a plus. He was impressed with my film, just my versatility and what I can do on both sides of the ball. He loves how aggressive I am and the attitude I play with.
"He was talking highly of my film and Florida itself. He was talking about Gainesville and how he'd love to get me out and of course that they'd like to offer me a scholarship."
An official visit to Tennessee is in the books and Riley will visit Notre Dame the weekend of Oct. 16 when the Irish host Southern Cal.
He also has an official set with the Trojans for mid-December. UCLA and Washington are two other programs Riley is considering for a fifth official trip. Even though the date hasn't been finalized, Riley said he definitely plans to visit with the Gators.
"They're in my top I know that for sure," Riley said. "Just to get an offer from the No. 1 team in the country that's just an honor."
Many top recruits - including five-star Florida commit Matt Elam - visited Knoxville last weekend and Riley said the coaching staff talked up his chances of playing early especially if star safety Eric Berry leaves for the NFL after this season.
"They lost (to Auburn) but overall it was a good experience getting away from California just seeing a whole different style of football, the SEC, the fans and how passionate they are about the sport," Riley said.
"When I had the opportunity to speak with (coach Lane Kiffin) we vibed really well. He was talking highly of me and he said he could see me coming in as a true freshman and making an impact right away and being a first-rounder and being that next Eric Berry and filling in his footsteps."
The trip to Notre Dame in two weekends will also be important for Riley, rated as the No. 15 recruit in the California state rankings, as he tries to narrow his focus on a handful of top programs. Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oregon are some others involved but those schools are listed with low interest.
"(Notre Dame is) playing USC so that should be a great atmosphere," he said.
"I remember they played last year at the Coliseum and it was a great atmosphere just all the alumni, seeing guys like Joe Montana and all those big names it will be a great experience to be a part of it."
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