Micah Riley

Strong relationships are a key in college football recruiting. That could give Iowa a head start in pursuing four-star tight end prospect Micah Riley.

The Hawkeyes offered the Bellevue (NE) High junior a scholarship last week. It became the next step in the process for both parties.

Assistant LeVar Woods is leading Iowa’s recruitment of Riley.

“Coach Woods is like an uncle. I grew up knowing him personally. He’s a family friend. So, we’ve had a connection since I was younger,” Riley told HN.

The timing of the offer surprised him.

“It’s amazing. Iowa was my dream school growing up. It’s something I knew would happen eventually, but not last week,” Riley said.

The Hawkeyes boast a strong reputation with graduating tight ends to the NFL. That includes San Francisco all-pro George Kittle, and T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, who were first-round draft picks in 2019. The latter grew up in Omaha, minutes from Riley’s hometown.

“They put guys in the league and are a very consistent program,” he said.

Riley (6-5, 230) caught 17 balls for 219 yards as a sophomore on a team that went 13-0 and won a state championship. He also stood out as a blocker in the running game. He played with standout receiver Keagan Johnson, a Class of 2021 Iowa commitment.

“I believe I can fit into any system a coaching staff needs. I’m a great blocker. I have great hands and can move around the field. Lastly, I’m not scared of hitting,” he said.

Rivals see Riley as a four-star recruit and the No. 10 tight end nationally in the ’22 class. The 247 network ranks him as a three-star and the No. 15 player at his position for the cycle.

In addition to Iowa, Arizona State, Arkansas, Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State and Wisconsin are the other Power 5 programs to offer Riley a scholarship.

“With recruiting, I’m taking my time. I’m going to make a decision next summer after I can visit as many schools as I can,” he said.

Here’s a look at Riley’s sophomore highlights: