Antonio Riles, who was a lifelong UGA fan, committed to archrival Florida on Friday.
The 6-foot-4, 271-pounder from Archer High School said he picked Florida over UGA, while also considering Clemson and Tennessee among his 13 football scholarship offers.
“After taking some time and really thinking about everything, I just felt like Florida was the best fit for me,” Riles said.
“My runner-up was definitely Georgia. Georgia was always my first love. But Florida kept on me. I really wasn’t hearing from or having any contact from Georgia. Then I finally saw Florida and it’s a great program. So I pulled the trigger and committed.”
What happened with UGA? Riles said he last talked to UGA assistants Rodney Garner and Bryan McClendon at a team camp in early June. At that time, Riles said he was on the brink of committing to the Bulldogs.
“I was digging everything about Georgia,” he said.
Riles said he left messages for UGA’s coaches on Facebook and over the telephone, but never heard back.
Did his UGA spot get filled by another recruit? “I don’t know. I’m not sure what happened. To the best of my knowledge, I still have an offer from Georgia. If they pulled it, they never told me.”
What does Riles think happened? “I’m not sure. I was leaning to Georgia. I’ve always dreamed about playing there, even before they offered. I guess a lot of things happened, but everything just worked out great for me at Florida. I’m happy.”
Does he have any hard feelings toward UGA? “No, not at all. It’s a good school. You can’t be upset at this point in the recruiting process. They have to do what they have to do, and make decisions that are best for the team. Everything worked out for me. Florida is a great school. I’m excited about playing at Florida.”
What if UGA pursued Riles in the future? “Well … I’m committed to Florida.”
UPDATE: UGA likely has a few other DL targets currently ranked ahead of Riles on their recruiting board, including Mill Creek’s Kelsey Griffin and Jackson’s Jay Woods.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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