Former UL Football Star Al Riles Dies
A former Louisiana Ragin' Cajun standout who was an All-Sun Belt Conference selection during his senior football season tragically lost his life over the weekend.
Al Riles, who played linebacker and receiver for Louisiana for parts of five seasons (2012-2016), died at the age of 27.
Details remain unclear, but Riles was reportedly shot and killed in the Dallas, Texas area at approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday night.
Former teammates, members of the team travel party, and fans reacted to the sad news on Sunday.
As a true freshman in 2012, Riles played in three games on special teams before being sidelined with a leg injury.
In 2013, as a redshirt freshman, Riles moved from the secondary to linebacker, appearing in 13 games, including five as a starter, compiling 39 tackles and one interception.
As a sophomore in 2014, Riles made the move to receiver, accumulating 34 receptions for 354 yards and a touchdown, before hauling in another 46 passes for 477 yards and four touchdowns as a junior in 2015.
As a senior in 2016, Riles finished as the team leader in receiving with 60 receptions for 729 yards and two touchdowns, good enough to be named a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection.
Over his UL career, Riles appeared in 53 games, totaling 140 receptions for 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns on offense, while compiling 34 tackles and one interception on defense.
He recorded at least one catch in the last 29 consecutive games of his Cajun career, a streak dating to a 2014 season in which Riles moved from linebacker to receiver.
After going unselected in the 2017 NFL Draft, Riles signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent before later being released.
A native of Covington, Louisiana, Riles attended Lakeshore High School, where he earned first-team all-district honors as a senior, after 1,281 yards and 24 touchdowns, while passing for 987 yards and six scores, earning district MVP honors.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Riles' family and friends.