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2 posts from August 8, 2013

August 08, 2013

Q&A: Cody Riggs

Florida redshirt junior Cody Riggs (St. Thomas Aquinas) has essentially grabbed one of UF's two starting safety spots -- without coach Will Muschamp officially confirming as much.

The Gators have spent the offseason searching for replacements for NFL rookies Matt Elam and Josh Evans, and Riggs “has distanced himself” from the pack," according to UF's coach.  

“He’s done a good job,” Muschamp said. “Past that, we’ve got to get better.”

Riggs was recruited to Florida as a cornerback but is readily welcoming the opportunity of a starting job at another position.  

Earlier this week, Riggs spoke about people's size concerns (5-foot-9, 184 pounds), learning from Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, the disappointment in missing most of the 2012 season with a broken foot and more...

On watching lots of Thomas' film:

“He’s very fast to the ball and knows what’s going on before the play. He’s a very smart football player. He makes a lot of plays before the ball gets snapped. I’m trying to add that to my game and recognize what the offense is doing it before they actually do it.”

On overcoming size issue:

“I’m very fast. I’m very physical. I’m a smart football player. I make a lot of calls. I have a great relationship with the other safeties, so when we work together, we can do a lot of things. ...  I can jump high. That’s not an issue. Being a smaller guy, it’s all about body position. It’s not about jumping. If you have good body position, I can jump, so I’ll be fine. ... I’m not scared of anybody.”

On last season's injury in the Texas A&M game:

"It was very frustrating. I didn’t even know how I fractured my foot. It was just the middle of the game, and I told them, ‘something is wrong.’ Come to find out, my foot was broke. It was heartbreaking because we were having such a good season and I had to sit back and watch those guys do all those things they did last year. ... It’s tough to sit there and watch. You learn to appreciate the game a lot more, especially when you sit out and we have a season like we had where we go to the Sugar Bowl. It was frustrating to watch, but I was the number one fan.”

On battling adversity:

"I remember like it was yesterday, just coming off that sideline and saying, ‘I can’t walk.’ That really motivated me going into this year that I had to prove myself. That was a big deal to me. That was my third year. Even though I did get a redshirt, the junior year is very important. It hurt a lot. I’m excited about this year.”

On the big shoes to fill:

"Yeah, Josh [Evans] was like my big brother since I got here. He was the host on my visit. We were really cool. I just have to model my game after him.”

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Cleaning out the notebook: Hard to miss

Junior-college transfer Trenton Brown, a 6-foot-8, 363-pound offensive tackle, has already caught the attention of Florida’s offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

Pease called Brown, “the biggest kid I’ve ever seen out there.”

Brown is expected to contribute in a reserve roll in 2013 (see: true JUMBO packages), and Pease noted the junior has been a terror for teammates in one-on-one situations.

“That kid has created frustration a lot with the guys he has to go against. He’s got a lot of ability. He’s done a good job.”


Sidelined starting guards Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) and Max Garcia (back) are expected to return to practice early next week, sliding Tyler Moore back to right tackle.

Pease said the Nebraska transfer can play anywhere along the offensive line but prefers to slot the redshirt sophomore on the outside.


“Dante [Fowler], depending on how they use him, he’s such a weapon because he’s a down guy, pass rusher, pass coverage guy, very physical, so heavy handed. He knows how to get of people. He’s a real tough kid to block.”

-- Pease on Florida’s sophomore BUCK linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.


“Gideon [Ajagbe] is a very good football player. … He’s very unselfish and willing to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to make these tailbacks 1,000-yard rushers’ as far as what a fullback’s mentality should be.”

-- Pease on Florida’s redshirt junior and recent fullback convert


Florida practiced in full pads for the first time Tuesday. … Pease said he missed last month’s annual recruiting extravaganza, Friday Night Lights, because he got tied up travelling back from an Alaskan vacation. … The start times for UF’s four open practices (free): 2:45 p.m., Aug. 15 at Dizney Stadium (Lacrosse fields); 9:05 a.m., Aug. 17 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium; 7:45 a.m., Aug. 19 at the Sanders Practice Facility; 9:35 a.m., Aug. 20 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. All times are subject to change.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

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