The highly-celebrated National Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 3. We are closely following Dietrich Riley of St. Francis and where he’ll end up playing next season. My money’s on UCLA, though Notre Dame, LSU and USC are very much in the running. But we know Riley’s not the only player signing this Wednesday. This is a call out to all coaches and athletic directors who know of an athlete signing Wednesday. If so, be sure to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. We want to include your athlete in our Signing Day story so please let us know!
If you remember not long ago we profiled James Magaa in a story that published in the Star-News. He’s a Monrovia wrestler who’s inspired many through his story. Magaa is blind, but he hasn’t let it deter him, and in fact, he’s an integral part of the Wildcats’ team. Magaa recently was featured on Fox Sports’ High School Spotlight. Keep at it, James! You truly are the epitome of perseverance.
MONROVIA — There’s something about Monrovia High School’s boys basketball team that’s keeping its fans on the edge of their seats.
Perhaps it’s the suspense, and there was plenty of it in the Wildcats’ 58-57 victory over visiting Temple City in Friday night’s Rio Hondo League action.
Monrovia’s Nick Long sank a 3-pointer with 3:39 left to give the Wildcats (8-10, 4-2) the lead for good. He then converted both free throws to give Monrovia a 58-54 lead with 12.3 seconds to go. Temple City (8-8, 3-3) attempted a frantic 3-pointer that missed the rim on the ensuing possession.
Monrovia’s Jay Henderson then was fouled with 5.2 seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and Temple City’s Matt Valazza sank a 3-pointer from mid-court at the buzzer.
St. Francis’ Dietrich Riley was one of four athletes who took part in a roundtable interview prior to the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game. Here’s an answer that got me smiling a bit, though I’m sure I’m a part of the reason Riley dislikes most about the crazy recruiting process:
Question:What was the worst experience you’ve had during the recruiting process?
Dietrich Riley:I must say the reporters. That was really, really stressful and it came to a point where I was tired and wanted to announce early. They would call me during finals week, I couldn’t get any of my work done. They would just continually bug me to the point where I would just turn my phone off. I ended up changing my number and not telling anyone and all the reporters would hit me up on Facebook and ask me why I haven’t been answering their calls or returning emails and I would just lie and say ‘I don’t have a phone’, but I did.
I had a chat with St. Francis’ Dietrich Riley earlier today and he said UCLA was at the top of his list, but emphasized it’s not necessarily where he’ll sign to play football next season. The announcement will come next week on ESPN.
National signing day is Wednesday, and Riley was invited to announce his decision in front of a national audience. The reigning Star-News Player of the Year is one of the most sought-after players in the nation, with UCLA, USC, Notre Dame and LSU to be the final four contenders hoping to land the prized recruit; Mississippi and Washington came too late in the process, Riley’s mother, Marika McWhorter, said. Riley will take his last trip when he officially visits USC on Friday.
The biggest surprise came when UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow and four other UCLA assistants sat down with Riley during a 45-minute on Wednesday to discuss using Riley on offense as well as on defense. Think Wildcat formation.
That’s what UCLA plans on doing should Riley end up there. Notre Dame and LSU are said to have proposed the same, though there was some friction between LSU’s offensive and defensive coordinator when the pitch was made.
UCLA, however, went well into detail about using Riley’s prowess on offense.
“They said they want me to play the Wildcat and they were going to put in a special package for me,” Riley said. “I’d be playing quarterback, running back and receiver. They want me to line up a couple routes. It won’t be a lot of offense. Fifteen plays, maybe a little more to try to create some mismatches.” Full story in Friday’s paper.