One California High School prospect has been waiting for a long time to finally get to experience the University of Tennessee first hand; Dietrich Riley finally got that opportunity this past weekend.
While Riley, a Scout.com 4 star prospect and the No. 7 rated safety in the nation, expected things to be good in Knoxville, the actual trip was a lot better than he expected.
“It went well, I had a blast,” Riley told InsideTennessee.com late Sunday night. “The Tennessee fans are incredible, they knew who I was, and they made me feel very welcomed and wanted.”
Due to the relationship he had built long distance with the Volunteer coaching staff, Riley had lofty expectations of what his trip was going to be like.
“Coach (James) Cregg had been telling me for a long time how nice the campus was and how great the game day environment would be,” Riley said. “It blew me away; the game day experience was amazing. I’m very glad I took this trip, it was well worth it.”
One thing that impressed Riley was how much the Volunteer coaching staff puts an emphasis on academics.
“I got to see how important academics are at the University of Tennessee,” Riley said. “The coaching staff really seems to care about on and off the field here.”
Riley was also impressed with both Coach Kiffins.
“I have been following Lane Kiffin for a long time,” Riley said. “Getting the chance to play for Monte Kiffin, who invented the Tampa Two, would be amazing. I got the chance to sit down and visit with the secondary coach Willie Mack Garza; he really seems to care about his players.”
Did Riley receive any pressure about making a commitment or pledge while on his visit?
“Coach Kiffin didn’t pressure me at all,” Riley said. “They made sure I knew how much they wanted and needed me.”
Riley plans on taking all five official visits before making a final decision. His trip to Knoxville was his first visit, but set the standards high for the other schools to reach.