While he has not gone so far as to name starters at the position just yet, Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp went out of his way Monday to praise redshirt junior defensive back Cody Riggs, who is making the transition to full-time safety this season.
Riggs started his college career as a cornerback, the position he grew up playing. He saw action in all 26 games during his freshman and sophomore seasons and even made 10 starts in his second year.
In 2011, Riggs transitioned over to nickel cornerback for Muschamp, played great in the season opener against Bowling Green (seven tackles, pass defense, forced fumble) and was looking good against Texas A&M before leaving the game with a broken foot that would sideline him for the season.
“It was very frustrating because I didn’t even know how I fractured my foot. It was just in the middle of the game, I told them something was wrong. I come to find out my foot was broken,” he explained on Tuesday. “It was kind of heartbreaking because we were having such a good season and I had to sit back and watch those guys do the amazing things they did last year.”
Now playing his third different role in the last three seasons, Riggs is catching Muschamp’s eye early during fall camp.
“Cody Riggs has done a good job, Cody has,” he said. “He’s distanced himself.”
The Gators are looking for a pair of starting safeties this season after Matt Elam and Josh Evans left the team following the 2012 campaign. Riggs may be close to locking down one of those jobs. He said that paying close attention to what Elam and Evans did last season is helping him prepare for his new gig.