March 3, 2012

Unusual night for Riles



As a rising star in the world of recruiting, Archer defensive end Antonio Riles will undoubtedly make a large number of tough decisions in the coming months.

Friday was one of those times for Riles.

The emerging defender was scheduled to visit Georgia for their Very Important Dawg (VID) event on Saturday, but due to a conflict in his mothers work schedule, he was forced to visit on Friday.

"Something came up with my mother's job, so I asked if I could come up Friday," said Riles. "She had to work on Friday too, so I still went up with a couple of my teammates, (wide receiever) Will Kone, and (center) Marcus Lightford."

The 6-foot-5, 260 pound defensive lineman may have missed out on the VID Day activities, but his trip to Athens was still quite informative.

"We got to meet the coaches, and spend time with most of the defensive coaches," he said. "It was my first time in Athens, and we got to see the great facilities. We got to see the field and it was beautiful. It was a very homey feel, and I know I could get a great education there. We also got to see a gymnastics meet."

Spending time at a Gym Dogs meets isn't something that is mentioned much when recruits visit Georgia, but according to Riles, UGA should do it more often.

"It was a great environment," he said. "I can only imagine what it is like on a football game day."

As has become the norm since Georgia's 2011 "Dream Team" class, a certain UGA defensive lineman showed Riles a great time in the Classic City.

"I hung out with Ray Drew, and he is such a great guy," said Riles. "He is pretty cool, and I plan to hang out with him again. I saw film of him when I was a sophomore in high school, and he can be pretty nasty."

It was also the Archer standouts first opportunity to spend time with the Georgia staff, and they, too, impressed him.

"I mainly hung out with Coach (Bryan) McClendon, Coach (Rodney) Garner, and Coach (Todd) Grantham, the defensive coordinator," he said. "They are all really cool guys and great coaches."

Riles told UGASports after he was offered by Georgia and that he grew up a fan of the Bulldogs and Clemson, but that it wouldn't factor into his recruitment.

Since Riles came into his visit to the Classic City with a healthy love for the Bulldogs, did the though of committing to his childhood favorite cross his mind?

"Honestly, yes, it did, but I'm going to take my time," he said. "I'm going to make the right choice, not just for me, but for my family, academics, and a place where I can play."

The fact that he thought about committing may lead one to believe that he is close to ending his recruitment soon, but Riles isn't so sure that is the case.

"Honestly, I don't know when I want to make a decision," he said. "I don't want to regret my decision. It will be a firm and definite choice. I wouldn't want to decommit. I'll be a man of my word."

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