Vols Offer Four-Star Alabama Linebacker

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    (Photo via Jason Caldwell/Scout.com)

    Tennessee’s coaches want to add more speed to UT’s roster through recruiting. That’s true for both sides of the ball. The Vols have been targeting a lot of speedy athletes on the offensive side of the ball in the 2020 class, and this week they sent out an offer to a prospect on defense who has a lot of quickness.

    Cameron Riley is a four-star linebacker who plays for Hillcrest High School in Evergreen, Alabama. This week, he picked up an offer from Tennessee.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Riley is rated as the No. 226 overall prospect and No. 14 outside linebacker in the 2020 class. He holds offers from nearly two dozen schools already, including programs like Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Kentucky, and others.

    The 6-foot-3, 210-pound athlete plays both defense and offense for Hillcrest, but he usually plays on the defensive side of the ball. And he’s a big play-maker for Hillcrest’s defense, using his speed and good awareness to snuff out plays. He’s been timed running a sub-4.6-second 40-yard dash, and he can squat 405 pounds.

    Unless he bulks up and adds another 25-35 pounds to his frame in the next two or three years, Riley’s best position in college might be at safety actually. He has good coverage instincts and has the speed to cover in the secondary. But he has good enough pass rushing skills to do well at linebacker at the next level, too.

    Riley just has a knack for making plays on defense. He has good reactions and instincts, and he uses those skills to knock the ball free from the ball carrier or to take down the quarterback or running back. Riley has the speed to blow past slower offensive linemen, and he can chase down running backs too. He makes some very strong tackles and plays very physically. He shows a little bit of his coverage skills on his highlight film as well, and he has a solid foundation there to build on if he does change positions.

    In his junior season, Riley totaled 43 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, eight quarterback hurries, two passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and a fumble return for a touchdown in nine games according to MaxPreps. In 28 career games in high school, Riley has amassed 132 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 19 quarterback hurries, five interceptions, six passes defended, two forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries.

    Riley was named to the Second Team USA Today ALL-USA Alabama Football Team for his 2018 season. Three-star defensive tackle and current 2019 Tennessee commit LeDarrius Cox was also named to the second team.

    No matter what position he plays, Tennessee would find a spot for Riley on the roster if he wants to come to UT. He has good speed and very good play-making ability that’s enhanced by his strong football IQ. Expect several SEC teams to be in play for Riley, and Auburn could be the biggest competition for him.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.