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Riley Stringer tries for All-American squad

Powell’s Riley Stringer was instrumental in the team’s third straight Class 3A title run in 2013. Now the incoming senior is trying to improve his college football prospects at summer combines. Powell’s Riley Stringer was instrumental in the team’s third straight Class 3A title run in 2013. Now the incoming senior is trying to improve his college football prospects at summer combines. Tribune photo by Dante Geoffrey

It’s been seven months since Riley Stringer has played a football game, but his stock has never been higher.

The all-state two-way lineman for the three-time state champion Powell High School football team is spending his summer training and competing to grab the attention of as many college football programs as possible.

Stringer will look to further impress scouts at the West Super Combine in San Mateo, Calif., one of four super combines across the country, July 12-13.

The 6-foot, 235-pound senior was selected to compete in San Mateo after he earned his way onto a Red Zone prospects list thanks to a strong performance at the three-day regional Desert Combine in Phoenix on May 10. Combine invitees went through a gauntlet of drills including a 40-yard dash, bench press, shuttle rune, vertical leap and broad jump. Stringer impressed with a combine-high 30 repetitions in the bench press.

If he continues his string of standout play Stringer could make it to what would amount to his offseason’s title game.

“If you do good enough you get invited to the All-American football game, and that’s the main goal,” Stringer said.

The two Blue-Grey All-American Bowls pit some of the nation’s top high school football players against each other on national TV.

Making it that far would ensure Stringer gets the attention he may not get while playing in small-town Wyoming.

“Being in Wyoming you don’t get a lot of exposure to bigger schools but this should help a lot and really get my name out there,” he said.

It will also expose him to the most talented crop of prep stars he’s ever seen, which is exactly what he wants.

“I’ve always wanted to know how I stack up against my opponents,” Stringer said. “Just getting (to the Super Combine) and seeing what else is out there is really good.”

Stringer has less than a month to finish his preparations for the West Super Combine. He said he will continue to work out and run through the drills for the two-day event, though he’s not quite sure what waits for him in California.

“It makes me really nervous,” Stringer admitted. “(But) I know if I go and do my best that’s all that matters.”

Stringer is playing defensive tackle at the combines, though he was a starter on the Panthers’ offensive line as well. He said he chose to focus on defense because “that’s where I’ll most likely play in college.”

Stringer already has the interest of some colleges.

“I’ve gotten several letters already,” Stringer said. “Even for wrestling.”

The Class 3A state champion at 220 pounds could go on to wrestle at the collegiate level but said his heart belongs on the gridiron.

“It’s definitely football,” Stringer said. “I don’t really have any desire to wrestle in college.”

It only makes sense for a kid who was raised by Jim Stringer, a father who is also a four-time state champion high school football coach.

“He helps a lot,” Riley Stringer said of his dad, who travels with him to the offseason events. “He gives me different workouts to do that will help improve my scores.”

A lot is on the line for Riley, who still has one more year (and potentially two more state titles) before he leaves for whichever college proves to be the right match.

But he’s taking everything in stride as he works toward his goal, even if the next step remains somewhat a mystery.

“I guess I’ll see when I get there, I’m not really sure yet,” Stringer said.

The first All-American Bowl will be played on Dec. 14 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas and the second will take place Jan. 10 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla., Both games will be televised on Fox Sports.

Combine results

40 - 5.13 seconds

Bench press - 30 reps

Broad jump - 8.1 feet

Vertical leap - 26 inches

Shuttle run - 4.72 seconds

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