October 15, 2008

Riley could go back to baseball

Senior Co-Eric Riley is one of the Bulldogs most dependable receivers.

But football may not even be Riley's best sport.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder excelled on the baseball diamond at George County High School enough to be offered a contract with the Detroit Tigers in 2005.

"I never thought I would play football at this level," Riley said. "I was a big time baseball player. I had a chance to go to the pros and play baseball. But I dropped that and went to junior college to play two years and ended up here."

Riley said he was not happy with the contract the Tigers offered and opted to take a scholarship to play both football and baseball at Gulf Coast Community College for two years.

While at Gulf Coast, Riley was an All-American and was considered the top JUCO prospect in the state. Following his sophomore season, Riley led the MACJC with 43 catches for 607 yards averaging 14.1 yards per reception. As a freshman, he hauled in 36 passes for 190 yards and six touchdowns in only nine games after suffering a broken wrist.

"Junior college was more like high school," Riley said. "It was serious but it isn't all that serious like here. Here it's a business. It seems like here everyday you clock in and clock out. In JUCO you were just out there playing like you were in high school. Here it's better competition and everybody is smarter on this level. It was a pretty hard transition."

Riley had a bevy of schools wanting his services once his time in junior college was complete. Riley had scholarship offers from LSU, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Florida State.

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