Over the past month, BYU has welcomed hundreds of players to campus to attend spring training. On the last day of spring camp, BYU welcomed 2023 four-star receiver and California native Malachi Riley for an unofficial visit. BYU was the first school to offer Riley a clear scholarship in 2019 when Riley was in 8th grade. He now holds more than 15 offers from Texas A&M, Oregon, Baylor, UCLA, USC, Ole Miss and Arizona State, among others. We caught up with Riley to discuss her recent visit to BYU.
A scholarship offer 2019
“The coaches and I were talking about it yesterday and joking about it,” Riley said of BYU being the first to offer him a scholarship. “They were my first offer and that means a lot to me. They were the first college to trust me and really believe in me.”
After Riley got an offer from BYU in 2019, he didn’t hear much about BYU staff due to the hiring rules in place for high school underclassmen. Then, a few weeks ago, Riley got in touch with BYU wide receivers coach Fesi Sitake and arranged a visit. Thursday marked his first time on the BYU campus and his first time in the state of Utah.
“I loved it,” Riley said of her first time in Provo. “It’s been 3-4 years [of contact with BYU] and I talked to people from BYU and the area and Provo. All I got was negative stuff and ‘oh you won’t like it, blah blah blah’. So just go over there to see it man. I love it. Like it was just crazy. It’s beautiful.”
Riley arrived around 9 a.m. and stayed on campus until 7 p.m. before having to drive back to California. He toured the facility, took part in a photo op, attended squad and position meetings, watched practice and watched the first game of the alumni game before returning home.
Riley described her visit as “unforgettable” on Twitter. On his favorite part of the visit, Riley said: “I would say when I was in the catcher meetings. After watching the movie and everything, we played a little game to find out who was the greatest catcher of all. the temperature.” Malachi continued, “You can tell everyone in the room was together.”
He also recalled a moment in the meeting when coach Fesi Sitake asked what kind of music the players wanted to listen to during training. A player recommended the music from the 90s, which apparently drew laughter and teasing. It was this culture and the family environment of BYU that stood out during the trip.
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“Just the family feeling and stuff like that. That’s probably what separated them from a lot of colleges for sure,” Riley said of what made visiting BYU unique. “A lot of places say, ‘Oh, like the family feeling.’ A lot of places say that but when I first walked into the building it was crazy Just being there… figuring it all out Like everyone was happy, making jokes, coaches yelling in the building. funny and fun to be around.”
BYU at the Big 12
In 2019, when BYU offered Riley a scholarship, the Cougars were an independent team. By the time he graduates, the Cougars will be gearing up for their first season as a member of the Big 12. As to whether that changed his perception of BYU, Riley said, “It changed a bit, but even when BYU was independent, I had no problem with that because even when they were independent they played against the best teams It’s good that they go to the Big 12 because now they can be in a conference , they can win the conference and stuff like that…it’s fun but it really didn’t change anything for me.”
Riley tells Daily Cougs that he is in no hurry to make his university decision. “I’m in no rush to make any decisions or to be in the top five,” Riley said. I’m not doing that right now, but I’m just building relationships. So after the visit with BYU, I want to continue to build that relationship and continue to see what they do and stuff like that.”
Depending on his graduation date, Riley could choose to make his official visits during the summer if he decides to graduate early.
Now that Riley is on the BYU campus and the coaching staff has rekindled the relationship with him, he’s a name BYU fans should remember.
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