Colerain High School is traditionally a football powerhouse in the state of Ohio. The 2015 season was no different as the Cardinals made a deep playoff run, ultimately falling just short of a state championship. According to junior defensive back Amir Riep, this season was successful, although more is desired.
“I think it went good,” Riep told Today’s U. “We made it to the 4th round, so we were 12-2. We made it to the final two. I don’t want to say it was bad because we didn’t win a title, but it was a really good season.”
Standing at 6’0″ and 180-pounds, Riep is a versatile prospect who impacted the Cardinals’ team in all three phases of the game– offense, defense and special teams. In 2015, Riep registered 40 tackles, 15 assisted tackles, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and seven interceptions. On offense, he had one catch for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Special teams were equally prolific for the junior, as he notched 11 kickoff returns for 191 yards and 20 punt returns for 221 yards (11 yards per return), including one 54-yard punt return touchdown.
“I would say I’m physical and I can make plays when the ball is in the air one-on-one,” Riep said.
At the college level, the ability to reliably cover a receiver in single-man coverage is becoming a necessity. Riep posssses this quality, and it has generated a sizeable amount of college interest so far. According to 247Sports.com, Riep is listed as the No. 34 safety in the 2017 class. Michigan State offered several months ago and three other programs have pulled the trigger since that time.
“Michigan State, Iowa State and then Iowa,” Riep said. “It’s been going good. I’m enjoying it. My coach told me about the Michigan State offer. I was really excited. Michigan State is a good defensive back school, so I was really excited.”
As Riep alluded to, Michigan State has a reputation for producing skilled defensive backs that fare well in the NFL Draft. Riep visited East Lansing for two games this season, and the Spartans’ secondary lived up to its reputation.
“I’ve been up to two games,” Riep said. “I was up there when they played Oregon and when they played Indiana. [Oregon] was a good one. I got to experience a great atmosphere. When they walked on the field, all the fans cheered. The defensive backs made some big plays, too, with two interceptions. That got me excited.”
Michigan State defensive back coach Harlon Barnett, who is a Cincinnati native like Riep, is the primary recruiter for the junior safety. Riep says the two had a chance to catch up during his visit.
“We talked when I went up there,” Riep said. “I like him a lot.”
As for Iowa, the Hawkeyes have entered Riep’s recruitment more recently, but the program is in good standing after the tremendous season from junior cornerback Desmond King.
“Like always when I get any offer, I was really excited,” Riep said. “When I was watching their game, there is a corner, number 14, Desmond King. That made me notice that they have good defensive backs as well. He won the Jim Thorpe award.”
Riep is not sure which schools he will be visiting over the offseason. That will be decided during a conversation with his father.