Lions' Reiff credits wrestling background with helping him on offensive line
ALLEN PARK — Riley Reiff didn’t dream all of his life of playing in the NFL, because he wasn’t even sure he would play football in college.
In high school he was a multi-sport athlete.
The Lions’ first-round draft pick wrestled at Parkston (S.D.) High School and held an amazing 121-1 record and was three-time state champion. His only loss came in his freshman year. He didn’t wrestle in his senior year after wrist surgery.
Reiff said on Friday that his wrestling background has helped him on the offensive line.
“Just using your hands, I think a lot of it is mental toughness, being a wrestler takes a lot of discipline and hard work, I think that and footwork and your hips and stuff I think all of that helps in being an offensive lineman,’’ the 313-pound Reiff said.
He didn’t wrestle at Iowa because he literally grew out of it, could no longer get down to 285 pounds the top weight.
Reiff also played football in high school where he was a tight end. When he was recruited by Iowa he first played on the defensive line, then switched sides of the ball.
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