Poly junior Donovan Riley emerged as a key clog for the Engineers football team in 2010. The versatile performer is slated to be one of Baltimore’s top college prospects next fall.
VSN: Talk your recent experience at the junior combine for the U.S. Army All-American game?
It was by far the most organized, electrifying and competitive combine I’ve gone to. Over 500 juniors from across the country competing in the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and one-on-one’s. I was able to meet and compete against some of the top wide receivers in the country. There was media from ESPN, Rivals, Fox Sports and Scout.com to name a few. San Antonio appears to be a very clean and friendly city. It was an exciting moment that I will use as a vehicle to transport me to the next competitive event.
VSN: How did you prepare for the combine?
I started preparing for the combine one week after my football season ended. I prepared mentally, emotionally and physically. I worked out at T.Z. Sports, Free State Sports Complex and Howard County Sports Complex whenever my academic schedule would allow me to. I also watched film on previous U.S. Army Combines to get a visual of the type of atmosphere that I was about to step into.
VSN: Talk about your junior campaign last fall.
As a defensive back, I recorded 43 tackles and had a team-high six interceptions. As a receiver, I caught a team-leading 46 passes for 960 yards and eight touchdowns. I took two kicks back to the house as a punt returner.
VSN: What got you into football?
I’ve always enjoyed football. I can remember watching the Philadelphia Eagles with Donovan McNabb and becoming interested because we shared similar names.
VSN: What’s been your most memorable moment?
The Poly-City games. This game has been my most memorable because of all the things that it standd for, over 100 years of tradition. Wow…I feel so fortunate to be a part of this historical rivalry. 2-0 against them LOL!
VSN: What’s the biggest improvement you’ve made as a player from your sophomore?
My biggest improvement I have made as a player from my sophomore year is working on my craft to defend wide receivers. There is an art to defending receivers and if you don’t put in the MTXE (Mental Toughness and Extra Effort), you will not succeed against your opponent. Training every day at performance-enhancement facilities to increase my speed and improve my strength has placed me in the position to cover some of the elite receivers from across the country.
VSN: What player do you look up most to?
The football player I admired most is Deion “Prime Time” Sanders because of the tremendous amount of confidence that he displayed during the game, always looking to make a play.
VSN: What do you do to relax off the football field?
I like to watch movies, play video games, listen to music and study film on my favorite football players like Deion Sanders and Ed Reed.
VSN: Have you thought about how you’re going to handle the recruiting process?
The recruiting process is very simple; I’m going to continue to work hard in the classroom as well as on the football field. Several school have shown an interest and are actively recruiting me like Maryland, PITT, UVa, Boston College and UCONN. I was able to break away from my SAT prep classes to attend a few of their football games and found it to be a lot of fun.
VSN: How do you relax before a game?
I relax by listening to music and reviewing the scouting report of my opponents.