Chris Riddle was riding on top of the recruiting world not too long ago, waiting on a few of the high profile programs in the country who were recruiting him to offer a scholarship.
An injury changed the course of Riddle’s recruitment and set up a key season for the Florida quarterback, who believes he could be in line to earn a scholarship offer from UNT.
Riddle, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior at University Christian in Jacksonville, first heard from UNT offensive coordinator Mike Canales a few days ago and spoke with him again on Sunday.
“I had not had any contact with North Texas until a couple of days ago,” Riddle said. “Coach Canales and I talked on the phone yesterday. I was surprised. As a Florida guy you expect the Florida schools to call. To have a Texas school call is amazing. Coach told me that I am one of a few out of state schools they are looking at.”
North Carolina, Boston college, Florida International, Central Florida and Florida Atlantic were among the teams that were recruiting Riddle before his junior year, when he appeared to be in line to take over as his team’s starting quarterback.
That opportunity was snatched away when Riddle broke his leg in preseason practice.
Riddle is still waiting on his first offer and is hoping a solid showing during his senior year will give him an opportunity to continue his career on the college level.
Riddle isn’t sure how UNT found out about him, but he did attend a camp at South Florida. UNT defensive line coach Kevin Patrick worked at South Florida before joining the staff at UNT this spring. He is one of several members of the staff with connections in Florida, including Canales and head coach Dan McCarney.
Several other colleges are showing interest in Riddle.
Riddle’s performance this season will have a lot to do with which of those schools offer scholarships.
The work Canales is doing now will put UNT in a solid position if Riddle performs well, as expected.
Riddle already believes he will be a good fit in UNT’s offense.
“Coach Canales he talked about they use multiple sets,” Riddle said. “That is what we do. Playing under center is one of my strengths. I am more of a pro style quarterback and am a pocket guy. I run about a 4.9.”
UNT has traditionally focused its recruiting attention in the state, but has targeted a few out of state prospects this year.
UNT’s staff told Riddle that he is one of the select few in a group that also includes Georgia defensive lineman/linebacker Keenan Kelly.
“I don’t think being in state or out of state is a big factor,” Riddle said. “I would be able to come home on the holidays. It’s not a deal breaker.”
Riddle will have a better idea what his options are once he gets on the field and has a chance to show what he can do as a senior.
“I am going to play my senior season and see where it takes me,” Riddle said.
Riddle will enter that key season open to the idea that it will take him to Texas to join the Mean Green.
Mean Green blog recruiting series
CB Nafees Lyon, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek
DL Carl Thompson, Guyer
OL Beau Hott, Plano
WR Akile Davis, DeSoto
ATH Jonathan Giles, Fort Bend Elkins
OL Clayton Woods, Highland Park
DL Keenan Kelly, Cedar Grove, Ga.