LAS VEGAS – Who is Kevin Riley?
That's the question many people have been asking themselves ever since he was named to the EA Sports Elite 11 on Saturday after impressing at the regional workout in Las Vegas.
Riley is a 6-foot-1, 192-pound quarterback that impressed back in May at the Palo Alto NIKE Training Camp and has never looked back. Ranked as the No. 2 player in Oregon by Rivals.com, Riley has become one of the hottest targets not just in the West, but the entire nation.
"Since Stanford, I've been trying to prove a point," Riley said. "I wasn't getting looked at all before Stanford. I'd been working hard before that and it was kind of frustrating to not be getting the type of attention that I knew I received.
"But I've been working hard. I felt confident going in here, and I guess I showed everybody that I do have what it takes to be one of the best in the country. I knew it all along, though."
A star quarterback from Oregon should not be a surprise to many that follow the national recruiting scene.
"Oregon's produced some pretty good quarterbacks over the years," Riley said. "We had Erik Ainge come out a few years back, and then there was Kellen Clemens and Derek Anderson a while back. I'm just hoping that I can continue that strong tradition.
"I'm just a kid from Oregon that's a pretty good football player."
What's been interesting about Riley's recruitment is that many of the same schools that are not hot on his trail were recipients of film from him right after his junior season.
"The funny thing is that I sent film in to all these schools and never heard back from them," he said. "I swear I sent out about 40 tapes, and I didn't hear a thing from any of them. It's been kind of amazing what has happened after I did well at the NIKE Camp. I can't even begin to think about what it's going to be like now that I've made the Elite 11."
Cal, Oregon State, UNLV and Portland State were his offers heading into this week. He said Michigan State coach John L. Smith personally requested him to come out to camp in East Lansing, and he's probably going to go.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford was the coach that called him in May from the Bears and Oregon State assistant Nigel Burton is in charge of his recruitment for the Beavers. Clemson and Colorado assistants also called him during the spring evaluation period.
"It would be kind of nice to stay near the West Coast, but that's nothing I'm locked into," Riley said. "Wherever I go I'm going to make sure that I'm making the right decision. I want to be 100 percent. I don't want to be wrong in anything.
"I'm looking for a school that has everything – academics, coaches, the school, the coaching style. I want to major in communications or business."