Kennesaw Mountain athlete Savion Riley announced his commitment to play his college football at Duke beginning in the fall of 2022.
“First all blessings and praises to GOD,” Riley tweeted. “I would like to give thanks to my coaches and trainers — John Hodges, Kevin Baker, Brett Sloan, Statkowski, Caleb Carmean, Dana Arthur, Miller, Dominique Oates, Spencer Smith, Tyrone Jones, Muhammad Abdellatif and the people that have dedicated their time to help me improve my craft. Special thanks to my parents and family for their love and support over the years. I want to also especially give thanks to Coach (Matt) Guerrieri for believing in me as well as Coach (David) Cutcliffe and the entire Duke Staff, so in saying that I have decided to continue my academic and football dream at Duke University!!!”
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Riley, a three-star recruit who transferred from Kell during the offseason, is listed as an athlete, but he is able to play multiple positions on the field. His main positions at Kennesaw Mountain are wide receiver, safety and cornerback.
“He has been an extremely hard worker and extremely talented in the time he has been with us, “ Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean said. “How hard he works is evident. When he performs, he does so well because of the work that he puts in to perfect his skill set and his craft.”
Prior to the spring game in May, Riley did not have any offers. Since then, Carmean said his recruiting has taken off. Within the span of over a month, Riley received 15 Division I offers from schools such as Maryland, Wake Forest and Memphis.
“It was kind of shocking at first,” Riley said. “I was beyond blessed to get that many opportunities, and that coaches saw something in me. The hard work paid off. My parents were proud and I was happy. Yeah, it’s been a good process.”
Riley said when he visited Duke, he could feel the university had a culture he wanted to take part in.
“The atmosphere definitely stood out to me,” he said. “They all welcomed me. They also showed as much welcome to me as to my parents. They talked a lot about family. Being on that visit, I can really tell that they meant it. I want to be a part of that, and it is one of the main reasons I chose to go there.”
Riley said one of his favorite moments on his visit was getting a chance to talk to Cutcliffe.
“The coolest part of my visit definitely had to be sitting down and talking to coach Cut in his office,” Riley said. “After having a chat with coach Cut, it became clear this was definitely the place. Wow.”
Riley said Duke’s academic prestige also had a factor in his decision to commit there.
“I wanted to go to a school that had good education and gave me potential for my future along with having a great team,” Riley said. “Duke has a combination of both.”
Carmean said that Riley is going to be an immediate impact player in his senior season.
“On the field, he just makes plays,” Carmean said. “When the ball is in the air, whether on offense or defense, he attacks it. Off the field, he is a great leader by example. He helps those younger kids behind him and holds his teammates accountable. He does a great job for us, man.”
Riley said he is going to replicate that mentality every day once he begins wearing a Duke uniform.
“I am bringing the hard work and mentality every single day,” he said. “I’m just so ready to get to work and get better.”