DE Riddle back from oblivion

After walking away from the game, Golden Bears DE Ryan Riddle has returned with a vengeance.

Originally Published: November 22, 2004
By Todd McShay | Scouts, Inc.
Note: Our scouts watch college football with an eye on the next level. This week they look at California DE Ryan Riddle; Wisconsin DT Anttaj Hawthorne; LSU CB Corey Webster; Illinois State LB Boomer Grigsby; and more, while also updating their top 32 draft prospects.

California DE Ryan Riddle has emerged from nowhere to become a mid-round prospect. Riddle's story is convoluted. He had a miserably disappointing senior high school season, and elected not to go through with the recruiting process because his heart wasn't in football. He wound up going to junior college (El Camino), where he was focusing on a future in the film industry, but was finally talked into playing football by the junior college coach.

Once he got back into shape, and shook the rust off, Riddle wound up dominating the competition, and caught the eye of Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. After starting just three games in 2003, Riddle emerged as a fulltime starting defensive end this season. He has exploded with 17 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks.

Riddle needs to add bulk and get stronger – particularly in his lower body. There are also concerns about his passion for the game. However, Riddle possesses toughness, athletic ability and natural playmaking instincts. He should come off the board early in the second day of the 2005 draft.

Todd McShay

ESPN Senior Writer