Al Riles, a former wide receiver for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns, died Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas, his mother told the Daily Advertiser on Monday night. He was 27 years old. Riles' mother, Deidre Riles, told the newspaper that he was shot and killed and has set up a GoFundMe page.
Unfortunately, we were all hit with the heartbreaking news that this beautiful soul is no longer with us," Diedre Riles wrote on the GoFundMe page. "He impacted every life he touched. Had a smile that could light up a room. A laugh that would fill the air with warmth. We lost a friend, a brother, a daughter lost her father, and a mother lost her son. A life gone too soon!"
The Ragin' Cajuns Football program was saddened to learn of the loss of former student-athlete Al Riles (2012-16) this past weekend.
Al earned his undergraduate degree ahead of his senior season in 2016.
His teammates, friends and family are in our thoughts during this time. pic.twitter.com/2leG4eXsKr— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Football (@RaginCajunsFB) November 10, 2020
Riles was a top player for the Ragin' Cajuns as he caught 60 passes for 729 yards and two touchdowns. He caught at least one pass in 29 consecutive games in his career, which began in 2014. During his senior season, Riles was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team. He then signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He was waived by the team a month later before playing for them and then signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 2018.
When Riles began his career at Louisiana, he played on defense. He started five games in 2013 and played defensive back and linebacker. It wasn't until 2014 when moved to offense and started 12 of the team's 13 games at wide receiver. He finished the 2014 season with 34 receptions for 354 yards. In 2015, Riles caught 46 passes for 477 yards and four touchdowns.
“Back then, (linebacker) Otha (Peters) probably was the representative for the defense while Al Riles probably was the representative of the offense, so if something had to be said, something had to be done, if there was an issue within the team, whether it was a bad game or if it was a work-ethic thing, both of those guys would be the ones to address the rest of the team, in a positive way, saying, 'Hey guys, this ain't good enough, we need to step it up," Former Cajuns receivers coach and offensive coordinator Jorge Munoz said.