Irish add potential starter in Riggs

Irish add potential starter in Riggs

Former Scout.com four-star prospect and Florida Gators senior Cody Riggs announced today he will play his final season of collegiate eligibility at Notre Dame.

A 40-game contributor and 26-game starter at the University of Florida since enrolling in 2010, the 5'9" 190-pound Riggs played safety last fall after starting previously at cornerback. Riggs had his junior season (2012) truncated by a broken foot and was thus eligible for a medical redshirt and fifth season of college ball following his graduation this spring.

He chose Wednesday to play that season in South Bend.

Riggs finished fourth on the Gators with 51 tackles, starting all 13 games last fall. Though Florida slipped to 4-8 overall, their defense was statistically outstanding. The Gators ranked eighth in both pass efficiency defense and total defense while limiting foes to 21.1 points per game, the 15th-best mark in college football.

Riggs started 10 of 13 games as a true sophomore in 2011 and was one of six true freshmen at Florida to play in all 13 games in 2010, earning three starts including an Outback Bowl victory over Penn State in current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's final contest with the program.

Riggs was rated the nation's 9th-best cornerback prospect in 2010 per Scout.com and he's expected to compete opposite incumbent Keivarae Russell for a starting role next fall. Riggs will battle the sophomore pair of Cole Luke and Devin Butler, both of whom carved a niche in the team's dime package last season.

Riggs versatility, talent, and experience nearly guarantees a rotation spot: nickel, dime, or base package to be determined by summer and fall camp.

Riggs will graduate from the University of Florida this spring with a degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences. He's expected to enroll in the Mendoza College of Business upon arrival at Notre Dame.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly offered the following of Riggs through a University release: "Cody Riggs is an outstanding player. He played a ton of football at Florida having started at both safety and corner back. Cody definitely brings veteran leadership and versatility to our team and defense.

"He will help us immediately but, more importantly, Cody is a great kid with a tremendous focus on both football and academics. His decision to complete his collegiate playing career and pursue a graduate degree at the University of Notre Dame speaks volumes about both our program and University."

Nephew of former Irish wide receiver Bobby Brown (1996-99), Riggs made his final decision after visiting campus earlier this week.

"I am very thankful for this opportunity," said Riggs. "I fully intend to make the most of this opportunity by not only giving my absolute best effort, but also leading by example both on and off the field.

"Being on campus, meeting with the academic personnel and interacting with the Notre Dame players helped me dot the I's and cross the T's on what has been the toughest decision of my life. I am excited about working hard in the classroom and expanding my professional network in pursuit of a graduate degree from Notre Dame. I am equally excited to contribute on the field and make some big plays to help the team win games."

Riggs recorded 107 total tackles including nine for lost yardage during his college career.

He is eligible to play for Notre Dame in 2014 as a result of his pending graduation from Florida.

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