January 15, 2021

To advertise with LGF, call Andy (985) 789-9351

"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond In The Rough: Jency Riley Jr.

Jency Riley Jr. is a big physical receiver from St. Helena can play both inside and outside the hashes. He grades out as 8.6 of 10 which makes him a 4-star prospect.  The reason he is rated that high is because of how he uses his hands to both get free of defensive backs and to catch the ball. Receivers of his size and frame are few and far between so finding one like Jency is like finding a true diamond in the rough. This past season was Jency’s first season to play football, but bringing his skills he learned from years of playing basketball has truly helped mold him into a future elite receiver in college. I feel that Jency can play at the FBS level and will be a dominant receiver for years to come. He has yet to reach his full potential.


So, Jency, when did you start playing football? I started playing my Junior year because my best friend plays QB for St. Helena, and he told me to come out. So, I did and I caught 12 TDs.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life? My father, he was shot and killed four months before I was born. So, when I go out and play sports, he is the first thing I think about. How he would react to seeing me do what I do. He played receiver in high school.
My Mom raised me by herself, but I have really supportive grandparents. During Katrina I was 2-years old. My mother helped me escape from being on the streets of New Orleans by temporarily placing me in the care of my Auntie. She didn’t want to leave my cousins behind to fend by themselves. My Auntie took me to Baton Rouge, from there my family from Dennis Mills, La. came picked me up. My entire family from New Orleans had to temporarily relocate to Dennis Mills, that is how I ended up living in St. Helena Parish, my Mom decided to stay and raise me there.

What have you learned about yourself while playing football? I learned that I have a God given ability. With this being my first year playing football, I feel that after all I accomplished this season, I can play at the next level.

Speaking of overcoming adversity, what have you have had to overcome? Yes, growing up without my father, all my friends have their dads to ask questions. I have men in my life to seek advice from but it is very different than asking your own dad.

What have you done to prepare for this upcoming season during this shelter in place order due to the Covid-19 outbreak? I am running a mile every morning. I am also doing workout videos and sending them to coaches and getting feedback so I can get better. I want to have an even bigger season this year.

What is your favorite play? Why? A slant or a hitch. A lot of people say that because I am a big receiver, I cannot run routes and that all I can run are go routes to catch deep balls. However I like running short routes because it shows my versatility when it comes to route running.  

Why do you play receiver vs any other position? Tight End, and Free Safety.

What separates you from any other receiver across the country? What makes you unique?  Other top receivers across the country have been training for this their whole life, with this being my first year to ever play football I feel that what I accomplished this past season is what I bring to the game. I have always played basketball and so coming out this year for football makes me unique in itself.

Do you play any other sports? I started playing AAU and travel basketball when I was in 6th grade.

Has playing basketball influenced how you play football? Yes sir, how I get off the ball is unique; I look at it like I am doing a crossover in basketball. The ball handling drills we do in basketball are very similar to football. I catch the ball with my hand vs my chest.

Is there any player you try to mimic while playing football? Yes, Deion Sanders, even though he played defensive back. I play with that “Prime Time” type of attitude. I am very confident in my playing abilities, so when I line up, I have already decided how I am going to win my matchup. Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson “Megatron” because when Julio was in high school and college, he was given the nickname Waffle House because he was always open. Both of these guys are big dominant guys that play my position.


About Andy Bryson 710 Articles
Founder of Louisiana Gridiron Football and football coach