Rios heading to Princeton

McNary linebacker Dyami Rios used the above image to announce on Twitter that he was committing to Princeton University (Submitted).

After months of enduring a unique recruiting process due to COVID-19, McNary linebacker Dyami Rios has made his decision on where he wants to play next season. 

On Saturday, Dec. 12, Rios announced on Twitter that he will be committing to Princeton University to play football for the Tigers in 2021. 

“I am excited that I get to continue my career at a place like Princeton. It feels great to have that security of knowing what I am doing next year,” Rios said. 

Rios, who graduates from McNary this spring, has proven himself to be one of the state’s best defensive players over the last two years. He led the Celtics in tackles (97) last season and was a first-team all-league tight end, leading McNary to the 2019 Mountain Valley Conference title.

“When (Rios) came in as a freshman, he was a man amongst boys,” McNary head coach Jeff Auvinen said. “He works as hard as anyone and has been a great leader for us the last two seasons.” 

Even with all his accolades on the field, what Rios has been able to accomplish in the classroom might be even more impressive. 

Rios has maintained a grade-point-average over 4.0 throughout his high school career, taking multiple advanced placement classes and participating in National Honor Society. He plans to either major in psychology or finance at Princeton. 

“His accomplishments on the field and in the classroom are pretty remarkable,” Auvinen said. “I am glad that he has the chance to attend a prestigious school and be a part of a football program that has sent multiple guys to the next level.”

Rios received additional scholarship offers from Air Force, Army, Columbia, Dartmouth, Idaho and Georgetown. 

Due to the pandemic, Rios wasn’t able to take an in-person visit to the Princeton campus. But after attending a virtual visit in August, Rios was convinced that Princeton was the place for him. 

“It was just the perfect situation for me. With a great football program and a top-notch education, I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Rios said. 

Rios will arrive on the Princeton campus in the Summer of 2021 and is hoping to immediately have an impact on the team.

“I want to get familiar with the system and my surroundings at school. But I also want to earn playing time and get as many reps as possible,” Rios said. 

With his speed and versatility, Auvinen believes that Princeton could use Rios in a multitude of different ways as a linebacker.

“He’s a physical, hard-hitting individual. But with his speed, he can also come off the edge and rush the passer,” Auvinen said. “I’m sure Princeton will use him well.”

While Rios is looking forward to college, he is also appreciative of the role that the McNary football program played in his development.

“I have had a great experience at McNary winning two league championships and playing with great guys who went on to play college football. I feel like I really developed a lot as a player,” Rios said. “I’m sad to be leaving, but I’m also excited to move on.”

Princeton begins their 2021 season on Sept. 18 when they take on Lehigh.