Rickards standout Riley looking to do big things at Louisville
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Rickards’ multi-talented football player Marcus Riley has big plans for his college career at Louisville.
He made them clear recently when he signed to play for the Cardinals, becoming the only Raider to sign during the early signing period in December.
“I visualize myself scoring touchdowns and helping the team,” Riley said, following a brief but loud ceremony in the Raiders’ gymnasium. “I just see myself being dominant on the next level.”
And, Riley has the credentials that says he can. This past season he replaced quarterback D.J. Phillips, but played quarter back many times during his three-year career and compiled just over 2,000 yards passing. He also had well over 3,000 receiving yards when he wasn’t under center.
As a running back he rushed for over 1,000 yards.
Those kinds of numbers made him an easy choice to make the All-State first team for a third consecutive year. He also was All-Big Bend player three straight seasons.
Capping his list of accolades, Riley was recently named Most Valuable Player of the Year by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club.
Coach Quintin Lewis called Riley the most talented football player he’s coached at Rickards.
“This guy is going to be missed like nobody has been missed,” Lewis said during the signing ceremony.
Riley visited several other schools, including Nebraska and UCF. However, said he has been big on the Cardinals, since they began recruiting him during his freshman season.
The relationship he established with Louisville coaches made it an easy decision, although he said he didn’t settle on where he will play until the night before he signed.
He took advantage of the early signing to avoid second-guessing his choice, Riley said.
“I had to get this over so that I could breathe,” he said. “I can’t believe that I just signed to go to college because of the neighborhood where I come from. I kept a straight head and kept going.
“It almost feels unreal that I’m doing it.”
Riley grew up in a neighborhood of mobile homes in Pine Ridge on Tallahassee’s south side.
As much as Riley has big dreams of becoming a star player for the Cardinals, he said he’ll be content just being on the field.
“Whatever it takes to make the team better I want to help,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where I play. I just want to play.”