In junior high and high school, Jency Riley was strictly a basketball player. He didn’t have any interest in playing football.
That changed when Riley and his best friend, who happened to be the starting quarterback at St. Helena College and Career Academy in Greensburg, Louisiana, made a bet.
“I’ve always played basketball,” Riley told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I started playing football because of a bet. I’m a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and we bet on the Steelers vs. Saints game (2018). The bet was that if the Steelers lost, I would have to start playing football. If the Steelers won, my best friend would have to start playing basketball. The Steelers lost so in the fall I came out and played. I’m glad I did because I enjoy it a lot.”
Riley is now the second tight end from Louisiana (Rhett Guidry) that Pitt has been recruiting in the last couple of months. Riley tells PSN that while he’s not sure how Pitt found out about him, he’s glad they did and is enjoying the relationship he’s been building with Tim Salem.
“I’ve been in touch with Pitt now for about a month and half. Coach Salem texted me to introduce himself and began by telling me facts about Pitt and helping me to get to know more about them. Now, we talk or text almost every day. Coach is always asking me for any kind of workout videos or videos of anything I’m doing football related. I believe the message from Pitt to me is that they want to see more film because this past season was my first year playing football. They told me that they love my first year of film but want to see more and prove myself a little more before I can get an offer.”
Despite playing just one year of football, Riley has been able to earn offers from Texas State, New Mexico State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Watching him on film, it’s very clear that he has the size (6’5″, 220) and speed (4.5), he’s just raw and still learning the game.
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“The schools love my size and I can run because I run a 4.5 forty and that was done standing up in a receivers stance,” said Riley. “My film shows that I track the ball pretty well, I have good hands, I believe I’m pretty athletic, I’m big, fast and strong. I have all the big stuff, all the teams just want me to focus this year on the little stuff like my route running, getting in and out of the break and blocking.”
While he prepares for his upcoming season, Riley will continue to talk to Tim Salem and hopes that his first Power 5 offer will come soon.
“That would be big for me because like I said, the Steelers are my favorite team,” said Riley. “Pitt shares facilities with the Steelers, that’s big. Plus, Pitt is a big program in the ACC, that’s sweet. I like Coach Salem, we’ve been able to build a pretty good relationship. An offer from Pitt would be big, hopefully it comes.”