Share This Post
With 2 days until Virginia Tech faces Alabama in the Georgia Dome, we turn our attention to no. 2 on roster Mr. Donovan Riley. Green and raw, Riley struggled at times last season. However, he did come up with a big interception in the endzone against Florida State that saved a touchdown. He has a lot of raw skills and seems to be a good tackler. With Exum close to returns and Manning taking a step forward, it will be interesting to see how Torrian Gray uses him this season. Riley may see the majority of his snaps on special teams and in mop up duty this season.
Weight: 204 lbs
High School: Baltimore Poly High School
Location: Reistertown, MD
High School Career
As a senior, Riley finished with 48 tackles and five interceptions, which led to a Chesapeake Bowl invitation. Overall, Riley was a big playmaker for Baltimore Poly and that effort over his final three seasons led to numerous evaluations by a lot of big time programs. However, the Hokies did a great job recruiting the Maryland native and eventually convinced him to commit on April 30th.
Reasons For Excitement
Savvy Player: There are some guys who are track athletes and there are some guys who are just natural football players. Riley falls into that latter category although I would argue that he is an underrated athlete after some of his off-season testing numbers leaked out. After spurning a redshirt year, Riley has the opportunity to play a large amount of snaps at cornerback this year depending on how much the injury bug bites us this fall.
Good Ball Skills: One reason I’m hoping Riley plays a little more than expected this year is he seems to possess the ability to break on passes. Last year, he was a little timid in what he was doing but he did end up with a timely interception against Florida State. The ability is definitely there.
Hokie Fans! Do You Use a Smoker or BBQ for Pork or Beef? Or Do Any Type of Grilling?
Check out this Must Have tool for Handling and Shredding Smoked Pork or Beef.
Alsing Meat Claws - These meat handler forks make shredding smoked pork or shoulder a breeze.
The folks at Alsing are offering Virginia Tech Fans the chance to get them on Amazon at a 30% discount with Promo Code 'MEATCLAW'
Their only ask in returns is that you leave an honest review on Amazon once you purchase and use them!
Causes For Concern
Not Elite: By saying Riley is not elite I mean that he’s going to be a solid player and a good contributor for us but the concern here is that you do have two elite players above you right now in Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller. Both guys are true freshman and are arguably higher on the depth chart. Riley is going to have some work to do next spring if he wants to win a starting job during his tenure here in Blacksburg. If not, he may be on the Cris Hill path of playing all four years but never starting.
What to Expect in 2013
Even with the loss of Donaldven Manning and Davion Tookes, I like what the Hokies have in their top four options at cornerback. Kyle Fuller and Donovan Riley are good options at boundary based on their skill set. They’re not perfect fits but I like what they can do as far as being able to provide Coach Foster with some different coverage schemes. Also, I like the two true freshmen at field corner as well.
To be honest, I would love to see what Riley can do at rover in the spring. Of course, if Desmond Frye continues to develop there may not be much room there either; especially if Holland Fisher enrolls in January. Riley is on a bit of an unusual path but he still has three years to make an impact and I’m confident he will.
With Riley developing into a dependable backup, the Hokies should be deep enough at cornerback this season to have success in the back end of their defense.
Enjoy this post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed and never miss another! Or sign up to get exclusive VirginiaTechFan.com Sports Analysis delivered straight to your inbox!