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Four-Star WR Malachi Riley Talks BYU Visit and Recruitment

BYU was the first school to offer Riley a scholarship clear back in 2019

Over the last month, BYU has hosted hundreds of players on campus to watch Spring practices. On the last day of Spring camp, BYU hosted 2023 four-star wide receiver and California native Malachi Riley for an unofficial visit. BYU was the first school to offer Riley a scholarship clear back in 2019 when Riley was in 8th grad. Now he holds over 15 offers from the likes of Texas A&M, Oregon, Baylor, UCLA, USC, Ole Miss, and Arizona State among others. We caught up with Riley to discuss his recent BYU visit.

Lavell Edwards Stadium BYU vs Arizona State whiteout

A 2019 Scholarship Offer

"Me and the coaches were talking about that yesterday and joking about it," Riley said on 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 put their trust in me and really believe in me." 

After Riley received a BYU offer in 2019, he didn't hear too much from BYU's staff due to the recruiting rules in place for high school underclassman. Then a few weeks ago, Riley got in touch with BYU wide receivers coach Fesi Sitake and scheduled a visit. Thursday marked the first time he had been on BYU's campus and his first time in the state of Utah. 

Malachi Riley

"I loved it," Riley said of his first time in Provo. "It's been 3-4 years [of contact with BYU] and I talked to people about BYU and the area and Provo. All I got was like negative things and 'oh you won't like it, blah blah blah.' So just going out there to see it man. I love it. Like it's just crazy. It's beautiful."

Riley arrived around 9 AM and was on campus until 7 PM before he had to hit the road to head back to California. He toured facilities, participated in a photo shoot, sat in on team and position meetings, watched practice, and caught the first part of the alumni game before heading home. 

Riley described his visit as "unforgettable" on Twitter. On his favorite part of the visit, Riley said, "I would say when I was in the receiver meetings. After we watched film and everything we played a little game of who was the greatest receiver of all time." Malachi continued, "You can tell like everybody in the room was together."

He also recalled one moment in the meeting where coach Fesi Sitake asked what kind of music the players wanted to listen to during practice. One player recommended 90's music, which was apparently met with some laughing and lighthearted teasing. It was that culture and BYU's family environment that stood out during the trip.

"Just the feeling of family and stuff like that. It's probably what separated them from a lot of colleges for sure," Riley said on what made the BYU visit unique. "A lot of places say, 'Oh, like the feeling of family.' A lot of places say that, but when I actually first stepped into the building, it was crazy. Just being there...taking it all in. Like everybody was happy, making jokes, coaches are screaming in the building. It was just funny and fun to be around."

BYU to the Big 12

Back in 2019 when BYU offered Riley a scholarship, the Cougars were an independent team. By the time he graduates, the Cougars will be preparing for the their first season as a member of the Big 12. On whether that changed his perception of BYU, Riley said, "It changed a little bit, but even when BYU was independent, I had no problem with that because even when they were independent, they played the top teams. It's great though that they're going to the Big 12 because now they can be in a conference, they can win the conference and stuff like's fun but it really didn't change nothing for me."

Decision Timeline

Riley tells Cougs Daily that he is not in a rush to make his college decision. "I'm not in no rush to make any decisions or make a top five," Riley said. I'm not doing that right now but just building relationships. So coming off the visit with BYU I want to continue to build that relationship and continue to see what they're doing and stuff like that."

Depending on his graduation date, Riley might opt to take his official visits during the Summer if he decides to graduate early.

Now that Riley has been on BYU's campus and the coaching staff has rekindled the relationship with him, he is a name that BYU fans should commit to memory.

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