Draper's Destination: USM

Draper Riley

West Jefferson TE Draper Riley will further his career at Southern Miss...

Draper Riley said his family felt comfortable with his decision to play college football a short drive north from home in Hattiesburg.

"I'm feeling real good about Southern Miss," Riley said. "My mama loved Southern Miss."

Riley talked about the USM staff's plans for him.

"Southern Miss is a spread offense," he said. "They didn't have a tight end last year. They said I stand a good chance of coming in and starting.

"They're going to have my hand on the ground sometimes at tight end," Riley said, "and I'll also split out as a receiver."

He talked more about the Southern Miss program.

"The first thing I liked about them was the coaches," Riley said. "They're a lot like our coaching staff (at West Jeff). They're all close and you can communicate with them."

Riley helped West Jeff's 7v7 team reach the finals of the BMOC tournament last year.

The Buccaneers held an early lead over eventual champion Louisiana Bootleggers Elite thanks in large part to Riley, who frustrated the Bootleggers' all-star secondary in the first half..

West Jeff reached the Class 5A playoffs all four years of Riley's tenure at the West Bank school.

Draper is related to LSU linebacker signee Duke Riley (John Curtis Christian).

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