Cody Riggs spent the past four years at the University of Florida but rather than stick around for a fifth year he has has decided to finish his collegiate career at another school. Riggs and his family met with Will Muschamp a week ago to inform the head coach of the decision that had been made collectively.
“Cody Riggs and his parents came to me and he’s going to finish up in May and transfer to another school to finish his last year of eligibility,” Muschamp said on Wednesday. “He wanted a fresh start and I appreciate his contributions to Florida.”
Riggs will graduate this May, which makes him eligible to attend any Division I school of his choosing and be eligible to play right away.
Riggs was a member of Urban Meyer’s famed 2010 recruiting class. It was a class that was once lauded as the “best recruiting class ever assembled” but quickly fell apart with transfers. Riggs watched fellow class of 2010 members Dominique Easley, Solomon Patton, Jaylen Watkins and Ronald Powell leave the program this season.
Riggs started every game at safety for the Gators last season and was a reliable player. His departure leaves Florida with just one senior in the secondary (Jabari Gorman), which will force Muschamp to rely on a handful of sophomores, juniors and potentially freshmen to step into a starting role.
“To me, they’re going to have plenty of opportunities, they need to step in and make plays,” Muschamp said of the freshmen defensive backs coming in this season.
Muschamp singled out Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye as two players currently on the roster that have been standing out at safety.
“I think at the safety position, Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye. Marcus started some games for us last year and Keanu Neal continues to improve,” Muschamp said. “Marcell Harris is coming back off his knee [injury and surgery] but I think he moves around well. Jabari Gorman’s been a guy that’s played a bunch of football for us and played well for us.”
Muschamp also mentioned a cornerback that we here at Gator Country thought could have made the move from cornerback to safety last year as a freshman.
“Nick Washington is a guy that really can line up at safety, at corner, nickel, he’s very intelligent, very smart, a lot like Jaylen [Watkins],” Muschamp said.
Riggs’ departure leaves the Gators with uncertainty at a very important position. Muschamp asks a lot out of his safeties to be vocal leaders as well as puts a lot on them mentally to get the entire secondary lined up correctly. The Gators will be green and wet behind the ears at safety in 2014 but what they lack in experience they make up for with talent and potential.
Riggs is the eighth player that has transferred since the end of Florida’s 4-8 season.