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Irish add Florida transfer

Grad student was cornerback, safety for Gators

– Notre Dame added depth and experience to its secondary Wednesday.

Cody Riggs, who spent the last four years playing cornerback and safety at Florida, will transfer to Notre Dame and play his final year of eligibility with the Irish, the university announced.

“Cody Riggs is an outstanding player,” coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “He played a ton of football at Florida having started at both safety and cornerback. 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.”

Riggs will graduate from Florida with a degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences in May and join the Notre Dame program in June. He will be eligible to play under the NCAA graduate transfer rule that does not make an athlete who already has a degree sit out a year.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder played cornerback for the Gators for his first three seasons until his junior year was cut short after suffering a fractured foot two games into the 2012 season. He played safety for Florida last year.

Riggs, the nephew of former Irish receiver Bobby Brown and son of former Pro Bowl running back Gerald Riggs, had 107 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, eight pass breakups, an interception and forced a fumble in 40 games at Florida.

He will likely compete for the starting cornerback spot opposite KeiVarae Russell, who will be a junior next season. Bennett Jackson, who started at corner opposite Russell, graduated.

Notre Dame also has Cole Luke, Devin Butler and Rashad Kinlaw, who will all be sophomores next season, and incoming freshman Nick Watkins as options at cornerback.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity,” Riggs said. “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.”

tkrausz@jg.net

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