Relations File Photos)
Bonesville features writer Ron Cherubini
conducted one-on-one interviews with East Carolina
offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley (left) and
Pirate defensive boss Brian Mitchell (right).
Links to the wide-ranging Q&A sessions:
Lincoln Riley Q&A
Brian Mitchell Q&A
All rights reserved.
Bonesville Mobile Alpha version of this page.
Alan Fiddler's eye for
football talent helped him produce an overall record of 45-32 at the
NCAA Division II level as head coach at Glenville State College.
So when Fiddler returned
to the prep ranks this season as the new head coach at Patrick Henry
High School in Roanoke, VA, one of the first athletes to catch his eye
was Ryan Revia.
“I definitely saw the
potential,'' Fiddler said. “He had great size, the right height and
weight, and he was a very athletic guy who jumped out at me right
Coaches from East Carolina
showed up at Patrick Henry about the same time as Fiddler because they,
too, had recognized Revia's talents. The Pirates would wind up offering
the 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle a scholarship in late November,
which he accepted in December to become a member of ECU's recruiting
Class of 2012.
Revia chose the Pirates
over offers from N.C. Central and Ivy League programs like Harvard,
Princeton, Cornell and Penn. The offer list would have no doubt included
more major-college teams if not for an incident during Revia's junior
season that may have impacted his recruitment.
A Patrick Henry varsity
starter as a sophomore, Revia was rising up the ranks of state's prep
prospects near the end of his junior season with interest already coming
from schools like Virginia. But the attention stopped suddenly when
Revia was suspended from school for a week and kicked off the football
team for the rest of the 2010 season for what was described in local
newspapers as a “violation of team rules.'' He would eventually be
reinstated, but wasn't allowed to play in the final three games,
including the playoffs.
Revia hoped for a chance
to redeem himself as a senior when Fiddler was named Patrick Henry's new
head coach for 2011. Fiddler, too, was looking for a fresh start after
resigning at Glenville State following seven successful seasons.
The new coach quickly
figured out Revia was more than deserving of a second chance.
“The thing with me, when I
came here I kind of wiped the past away,'' Fiddler said. “I just wanted
to treat people from what I know of them and not what people say about
“He made a mistake, and he
manned up and admitted to his mistake. He is a great character kid who
comes from a family of people who have great character. He's an
excellent student who does what he's supposed to do. He works hard in
the classroom and on the field. Off the field, he's a respectful guy who
says, 'Yes sir,' and 'No sir.'
"He gets a little attitude
when he gets out on the field. He just made a mistake, and we all do
recruitment of Revia began in the spring when Fiddler arrived at Patrick
Henry. At Fiddler's urging, Revia attended the Pirates' one-day prospect
camp during the summer break and he came back from Greenville impressed.
ECU's staff followed Revia
throughout the 2011 season as he served as the team's deep snapper and
top blocker in Fiddler's no-huddle, spread offense. Patrick Henry
produced a 7-3 record with all three losses coming against some of the
area's top teams.
“He had a great senior
year,'' Fiddler said. “We were a little undersized at a couple of
positions up front, but he definitely gave us some size up front. He
also had the athletic ability to allow us to run a lot of screens. He's
got the kind of mobility where he'll be able to execute the pulling and
traps they'll do at the next level.''
When asked to give an
example of Revia's talents, Fiddler recalls a play in Patrick Henry's
second game of the year against Bassett High School.
“We ran a little
quarterback counter,'' Fiddler said. “He pancaked the linebacker
probably 20 yards downfield at the goal line. That play jumped out to me
because here's our tackle 20 yards down field, running down a linebacker
and putting him on his back. It was very impressive and our quarterback
scored on the play.''
The quarterback who scored
on that play has also been offered a scholarship by the Pirates,
according to Fiddler. David Prince is a 6-foot, 175-pound athlete who
has already received offers from ECU, Virginia and Virginia Tech as a
Fiddler expects Revia will
need a redshirt season before he's ready to make a game contribution for
the Pirates. But he has no doubt that the Pirates will reap the benefits
when he's physically prepared for the task.
“Mentally, I know he can
handle it,'' Fiddler said. “He's a very intelligent kid. He carries
about a 3.9 (grade point average), so he picks things up quickly. But
for him to have a year to add more weight and strength would be
“I told all the coaches
who came through here that he's nowhere near his ceiling. He has the
potential to have a really good college career, and maybe beyond.''