Florida lineman Antonio Riles has transferred to FAU as a graduate student, OwlAccess.com has learned.
Riles played in 11 games, starting six, for the Gators in 2015. Last season Riles played in four games as a reserve.
In between, Riles missed all of 2016 after suffering a season-ending knee injury during fall camp. Riles successfully petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility.
After redshirting as a true freshman in 2013, Riles played in four games as a reserve in 2014.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pound Riles visited FAU during spring practices and was on the sideline at Fort Lauderdale’s Carter Park for one Owls’ scrimmage.
As a graduate transfer, Riles would be eligible to play immediately and figures to fill a position of need for the Owls, who lost 2017 starting guards Jakobi Smith and Roman Fernandez to graduation. During the spring redshirt freshman B. J. Etienne manned one starting guard position. Walk-on Nick Weber and transfer William Tuihalamaka toggled in the other starting spot.
The Owls focused on recruiting lineman that could help immediately and also build depth while building their 2018 signing class. Three of the six offensive linemen announced as part of that class were either junior college or graduate transfers. FAU also added Lakeland’s Dacoda Weaver in February. All seven of those signees are already on campus.
The Owls return All-Conference USA left tackle Reggie Bain and right tackle Brandon Walton for 2018. Junior Diaz, a graduate transfer from Tulane is expected to battle Tarrick Thomas – who snapped for the Owls during the spring – and JUCO transfer Zack Bennett for the starting center spot.
Riles’ arrival at FAU is the second high profile transfer story in as many days for FAU. On Monday OwlAccess.com broke the news that former Indiana quarterback Nick Tronti is expected to become an Owl.