Romello Riley, a 6’3″, 240-pound 19-year-old junior transferring to South Alabama after two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and enrolled in January is hospitalized in New Orleans after collapsing while working out on Friday.
The incident occurred at a fitness club in his hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and according to GulfLive.com, Riley suffered a stroke due to a blood clot on his brain and has paralysis on the right side of his body. As of the last report Riley was still in critical condition but was expected to be moved to a private room sometime late on Tuesday.
USA head coach Joey Jones released a brief statement to AL.com stating: “First of all, our prayers go out to Romello and his family,” Jones said. “A very tough situation. As a family at South Alabama, especially with our football program, we are very concerned. He’s a great kid who works hard and we’re hoping for the best.”
Healing thoughts and prayers go out to Riley and his family from JagNation.
Come out to Jaguar Field for the game tonight, first pitch is scheduled for 6pm!
The University of South Alabama held their National Signing Day this afternoon in the John Counts Room at the Mitchell Center. In addition to announcing the signees for the 2016 class, there was a big announcement from the from Jaguar Sports Properties and iHeartMedia.
The first announcement was by JSP and iHeartMedia concerning a new partnership between the two. Beginning April 2nd they will begin broadcasting on 99.5FM The Jag which will be a home for all sports and coaches shows in addition to a simulcast of The Uncle Henry show. Additionally they will be an affiliate of Fox Sports with shows by Rich Eisen (good stuff) and Colin Cowherd (groan).
The football broadcast will remain on Lite Mix 99.9, a 100,000 watt FM broadcast. While The Jag will only be a greater Mobile area broadcast (4,100 watts), it can be heard worldwide via the iHeartRadio app.
As for the signees, the Jags signed student-athletes that were committed to or recruited by schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and West Virginia among others.
Riley Cole, 6’3″, 220-pound linebacker from Oneonta HS, Oneonta, Alabama. A three-star rating from all four national recruiting services and was considered the third-best outside linebacker in the state by Scout.com. He was committed to Alabama until, as reports surfaced that he was asked to grey shirt. Riley then signed with Alabama after decommitting. South Alabama’s relationship through the recruiting process landed Cole with the Jaguars.
Jalin Buie, 5’7″, 165-pound running back from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. Buie was committed to Auburn before decommitting. He was also rated a three-star recruit by all four national recruiting services. He also ranked 12th nationally among all-purpose athletes by Rivals.com and 14th by 247sports.com. Jalin’s speed is fantastic, think J.D. McKissic from Arkansas State in the size and speed.
Chris Henderson, 6’4″ 232-pound defensive lineman from Lovejoy HS in Hampton Georgia. He was rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com and ESPN.com, he helped Lovejoy finish 4-1 in the region to qualify for the 6A playoffs as a senior. He recently decommitted from Indiana and also had offers from Louisville, Middle Tennessee State and Old Dominion.
Bobby Flott, 6’2″ 160-pound cornerback from Baker HS in Mobile, Alabama. Flott had interests from Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma but he was a solid USA commit for some time. He adds some height in the secondary to go up against the tall receivers the Jags face.
Jared Stewart, a 5’10” 165-pound cornerback from Fultondale HS in Birmingham, Alabama. He was part of the varsity team since 8th grade. He was rated a two-star athlete from Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com and brother of ArDarius Stewart (Alabama). Stewart is recovering from a torn ACL and will not participate in spring drills but should be ready by fall camp. Stewart is already enrolled at USA.
Clay Burt, a 6’5″ 310-pound offensive lineman from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. He was an All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference honorable mention selection as a sophomore. He is able to play all three positions on the line: center, guard and tackle. His size and strength will be useful to replace Cameron Blankenship.
Sean Brown, a 6’3″ 285-pound offensive lineman from Pleasant Grove HS in Pleasant Grove, Alabama. Also a three-star rating from Scout.com and 247sports.com. He was the top-rated center in Alabama. He was listed as a defensive lineman by USA. Brown had offers from several schools including Arkansas State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee State, Southern Miss and Troy.
Jay Woods, a 5’11” 180-pound cornerback from Pinson Valley HS in Pinson, Alabama. He was rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com with Scout also rating him the fourth-best cornerback in the state. He had a long list of offers from the likes of Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Army, Jacksonville State, Marshall, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Pitt, Southern Miss, UAB and Wake Forest among others. Woods is a dynamic player that can force fumbles, return kicks and cover well.
Jahmmir Taylor, a 5’11” 170-pound wide receiver from Hinds (MS) Community College with offers from Memphis, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss.
Darrell Songy, a 6’1″ 225-pound outside linebacker who originally signed with Oregon State and played during the 2013 freshman season, but ended up going to Garden City CC where he racked up 68 total stops and 11.5 stops for loss.
D’Tavieus Taylor, a 6’5″ 280-pound offensive lineman from Pearl HS and Hinds (MS) CC. Taylor earned honorable mention National Junior College Athletic Association All-American and a first-team MACJC All-State and All-Region as a sophomore. He also had offers from Houston, Louisiana-Monroe, New Mexico State, North Texas and UT-San Antonio. He also had an official visit planned for West Virginia but he cancelled it when committed to USA.
Zac Crosby, a 6’4″ 210-pound tight end from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. He was rated a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com. He caught 30 passes for 750 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. He also had offers from Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Middle Tennessee among others. The coaches believe he will be similar to a Wes Saxton and Gerald Everett type player for the Jags.
Nick Fields, a 6’1″ 275-pound defensive lineman from Dothan HS in Dothan, Alabama earned a two-star rating from Rivals.com and 247Sports.com. He was invited to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic after his senior season. He also had offers from Jacksonville State, Nevada and Alabama A&M. He was clocked as a 4.97 40-yard dash, a 5.0 shuttle and a 30″ vertical leap.
Diantae Thomas, a 5’11” 218-pound safety from Dothan HS by way of Butler (KS) CC. He primarily played on offense last season. He caught 23 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in addition to 115 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. He brings an offensive mind to the defense where coaches think he will be a great fit.
Konnor Houston, a 6’4″ 225-pound linebacker from Army Prep. Houston posted 171 tackles and 15 hurries during his prep career helping Buford HS to three consecutive state titles. He actually signed back in December.
Taji Stewart, a 6’3″ 210-pound linebacker from Walton HS in Marietta, GA. He earned a two-star rating from Rivals.com and 247Sports.com after recording 79 tackles including six for a loss in HS.
Andrew Reinkemeyer, a 6’4″ 265-pound tight end from Butler (KS) CC. He recorded 15 catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns in 2014. He helped Butler CC go 8-3 and 15th in the final NJCAA rankings. He actually signed back in December. He will be a power blocker and will fill a necessary role on the offense.
Neiko Robinson, a 6′ 175-pound defensive back from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC. As a sophomore he recorded 44 total tackles and six pass breakups, the second-highest total on the team, and helped them to finish 8th in the final NJCAA poll.
Zach Befort, a 6’3″ 280-pound defensive lineman from Butler (KS) HS. He earned second-team All-Jayhawk Conference honors after 50 total tackles which included 8.5 of them for a loss. He signed back in December and had offers from Idaho, Louisiana-Monroe, Tulsa, Ball State and others.
Romello Riley, a 6’3″ 245-pound defensive end from Mississippi State Gulf Coast CC. He finished with 30 total tackles in nine games during his sophomore season, five of them for a loss and three sacks. He was also a December signee with offers from Arkansas State and Troy.