NOTRE DAME — Notre Dame's defensive backfield just got a little deeper and a whole lot more experienced.
University of Florida defensive back Cody Riggs elected to pursue his fifth year of eligibility at Notre Dame after graduating from Florida in May. Riggs solidified his commitment Wednesday, Feb. 19.
"Cody Riggs is an outstanding player," head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement to und.com. "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."
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Riggs, who missed the majority of the 2012 season with a fractured foot, started all 12 games for Florida in 2013 and totaled 51 tackles (6.5 for loss), three pass break-ups and 1.5 sacks. He was a team captain against Miami, South Carolina and Georgia Southern.
Though the Gators finished 4-8 last season, their pass-efficiency defense and total defense ranked in the Top 10 among FBS teams.
Riggs played both cornerback and safety with the Gators, but will likely move to a full-time cornerback at Notre Dame. With a unit that loses captain Bennett Jackson and Lo Wood but returns junior KeiVarae Russell and sophomores Devin Butler and Cole Luke, Riggs will compete for a starting spot right away. He will join the program in June after receiving his degree in family, youth and community sciences from Florida.
"I am very thankful for this opportunity," Riggs said to und.com. "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."