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May 3, 2011

Poly's Donovan Riley commits to Virginia Tech

donovan-riley-poly-2010.jpg Having a lack of college options was never going to be a problem for Donovan Riley.

The Poly defensive back spent the past several months earning scholarship offers from Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, with many more potentially on the way.

But for Riley, no current – or future – offers would be able to top scholarship No. 1, which came from the Hokies in late February.

“They were the first school to offer me,” Riley said. “That played a big role in my decision because there were other schools that have shown a lot of interest in me. But Virginia Tech has reached out a little more than the others, and I felt more comfortable with Virginia Tech.”

Riley, a 6-foot, 194-pound junior, committed to Virginia Tech this week. Riley said his family and friends are “very excited. There has been a lot of support that has been extended to me in achieving my athletic as well as academic success.”

As a junior, Riley recorded 46 tackles and six interceptions, in addition to 43 receptions for 900 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns, earning Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro honors for his efforts.

Riley burst onto the Division I radar in January with a strong performance at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Junior Combine in San Antonio. For the next month, Riley patiently waited for his first offer. While he wondered when a school would take a chance on him, the Engineers’ star didn’t panic.

“I never looked at the actual timeline,” Riley said. “I just kept working hard. I kept praying that this moment would come. And it came down to now and I’m glad that it did so that I can focus on the rest of my school year and I can enjoy my senior year.”

Riley, who can play cornerback and safety, said the Hokies coaches were impressed with his ball skills, field awareness and hip movement. A strong student interested in math and science, Riley did his homework about the university.

“Before I made my decision, I was able to reach out to former players of Virginia Tech, parents of former players of Virginia Tech and even current players of Virginia Tech,” Riley said. “After talking with them, that assisted my decision. They let me know that Virginia Tech was a family-oriented type of campus, and that the football team was very united.”

After talking with Hokies coach Frank Beamer, wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray, Riley was sufficiently convinced that Virginia Tech was the best place for him “academically and athletically.”

Riley said that while he is relieved to have made his decision and excited to have accomplished his goal of committing to a Division I program, he has much left to accomplish on the field.

“It just lets me know that I’m not finished,” Riley said. “This is only the beginning.”

Baltimore Sun photo of Donovan Riley by Karl Merton Ferron / Nov. 6, 2010

Posted by Matt Bracken at 8:52 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Local recruiting
        

Comments

hard work pay off this kids put it in. i seen it first hand from day one when he was little.and look at him now i am very proud of him and all the sucess his is bless with now and future. keep it up donovan peace out.

God Bless You Donovan!

Congrats Donovan! Big Props also to the folks who guided this young man to this point, Uncle Tony & Big Riley, GREAT, GREAT JOB Fellas.

I am so incredibly proud of my son!
He is humble, intelligent and talented.
Continue to make a positive difference.

As a Baltimore Hokie, this is great to see! Congrats on the scholarship and excellent choice! Its great to see elite Defensive Backs choosing VT (a.k.a - Defensive Back U!) Let's Go Hokies!

Hey man you know I am your number one fan loveyou boy!!!!!!!!!!!

Good job Donovan good to hear a Poly Man doing well.

Donovan, Hokie Nation and all Hokies are excited! Welcome aboard, stay positive, great things wil happen!

Great Job Donovan Continue to keep God first and he will direct your path...Your a bright young man very talented stay focused and sky is the limit Big Bro JG....

I love you and I want the best for you now and always... Remember, to Stay humble and keep God first.... You are an awesome young man... So proud to call you "Nephew"

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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