COVID-19 prevents Riley Till and Jalen Rima from adjusting to new schools

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 10:52 PM CDT
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Iowa has always been home for former Northern Iowa wide receiver Jalen Rima and former Hawkeye basketball player Riley Till, but they're ready for new adventures in their senior seasons.

"I've always wanted to get away from Iowa, since I've lived here my whole life," said Rima. "So, it's a good, new opportunity for me to go see something different and learn something new in a different area."

"I could write a book on what the University of Iowa's meant to me," said Till. "Not only from my four years, but my sister was there for four years, my mom did the radio and tv for them for 10 years."

However, with the current pandemic, neither player hasn't had the chance to settle in with their new team.

Till, who is moving west to play at Cal Poly, wasn't able to even take an official visit or meet the coaches face-to-face. All he could do was Zoom interviews and phone calls.

"It's a great location, weather's amazing, it's right next to the beach -- you can't beat that," Till said. "Then, like I said, I started building those relationships with the coaching staff, trying to feel it out, if it would be a good fit, what are they looking for out of me, what am I looking for out of them kind of thing. Honestly, it seemed like a perfect fit."

Rima is heading east -- to the University of Albany. He did some workouts with his new teammates before the campus closed for the spring. Spring practice would be valuable for him, but he's getting by now with virtual meetings.

"I was just starting to get comfortable, meet everybody, started to get comfortable with all the guys, coaches, all the new facilities and even the campus," Rima said. "We usually meet twice a week for an hour, learn some new plays. Then we watch some film from last year just to see what it looks like on paper and what it looks like on the field. So that's been helping a lot."

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