Updated on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.
Florida Gators redshirt senior defensive back Cody Riggs will transfer out of the program, head coach Will Muschamp announced Wednesday at his post-National Signing Day press conference.
“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, wanted a fresh start,” Muschamp said. “And I appreciate his contributions to Florida.”
Riggs, who has played in 40 games with 25 starts over the last four seasons, only saw action in two contests as a true junior in 2012 after fracturing his foot during the second game of the campaign.
He started 10 games at cornerback in 2011 but moved to safety to help the Gators in 2012-13, finishing fourth on the team with 51 tackles (10 for lost yardage) last year.
According to The Gainesville Sun‘s Pat Dooley, Riggs’s desire to return to his natural position of cornerback fueled his decision to transfer.
(It also leaves Florida without a returning starter at safety from the 2013 season as Jaylen Watkins graduated at the end of the year.)
Riggs denied that notion on Thursday, telling Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated that he would have left prior to the 2012 campaign if he was concerned about preparing for the NFL. Instead, he wants to “attend graduate business school and pursue either an MBA or other business degree” elsewhere in order to “expand his network.”
“This was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” Riggs said. “I love my teammates and the fans here. I really feel awful about leaving my teammates, especially a young secondary. This was something that I needed to do.”
He added: “Muschamp is the best coach I’ve ever had. His defense is always going to be good, regardless of who is back there. They have a lot of talent back there, it gives me a little peace knowing that they’re going to be OK.”