University of Florida defensive back Cody Riggs is transferring to Notre Dame, Irish football coach Brian Kelly announced on Wednesday.
Riggs will be eligible to play immediately for the Irish this fall because of the NCAA's Transfer Rules allowing graduating student-athletes who have a year of eligibility to transfer to another school and not have to sit out a year to play.
Riggs is graduating from Florida in May, and enroll into graduate school at Notre Dame in June. He joins punter/kicker Alex Wulfeck (last season) as the only players Notre Dame has added through this graduate transfer rule process since the NCAA updated its rules to allow this a few years back.
It's the same rule that allowed former Irish quarterbacks Dayne Crist (Kansas) and Andrew Hendrix (Miami Ohio) to transfer out of Notre Dame and be eligible immediately elsewhere.
"Cody Riggs is an outstanding player," said Kelly. "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."
“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 played in 40 career games for the Gators at both corner back and safety. He collected 26 starts, including 16 in Southeastern Conference competition. Riggs was a critical member of Florida secondaries that finished second in Football Bowl Subdivision opponent’s passer rating allowed in 2012 and eighth in 2013. He registered 107 total tackles, nine for tackles for loss and two sacks. Riggs also added an interception, forced fumble and eight pass breakups in his career.
After an injury sidelined him for all but the first two games of the 2012 campaign, Riggs converted to safety and started all 12 games for Florida in 2013. He collected 51 tackles (fourth-most on the Gators), 30 solo stops, six and a half tackles for loss and one and a half sacks. Riggs also added three pass breakups. He was named a team captain for Florida in its matchups with Miami, Fla., South Carolina and Georgia Southern.
In 2011, Riggs saw action in all 13 games and started 10 at corner back. He registered 31 tackles, including one and a half for loss and a half sack.
Riggs was one of six true freshmen to play in all 13 games for the Gators in 2010. He started three contests (Kentucky, South Carolina and the ‘11 Outback Bowl victory against Penn State) at corner back. Riggs registered a pair of tackles and picked up his first-career interception vs. the Nittany Lions.
Riggs was a four-star prospect and the No. 9 cornerback in the country by Scout.com coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He participated in the ‘10 Under Armour All-American Game. Riggs recorded 25 tackles, picked off eight passes and registered a school-record 24 pass breakups during his senior season. He received honorable mention for defensive backs at the U.S. Army National All-Combine. Riggs had 25 tackles and eight interceptions as a junior in 2008, helping St. Thomas Aquinas to the 5A state championship.