Cody Riggs

Irish could add to secondary with Florida transfer Cody Riggs


It appears that Notre Dame could end up adding another piece to the secondary with Florida cornerback/safety Cody Riggs exploring his transfer options. With Notre Dame adding just Drue Tranquill and Nick Watkins to the secondary, Riggs could be a great stop-gap option, adding a versatile member of Florida’s secondary.

Riggs decided to use his fifth year to explore his options, a move announced by Will Muschamp on Signing Day.

“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 spoke with, telling Pete Thamel about the decision to leave the SEC and look elsewhere.

“This was the hardest decision I ever had to make,” Riggs told “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.”

Riggs plans on using he graduation waiver to explore a graduate degree, telling Thamel that he’s hoping to pursue his MBA or a master’s in science in business. He’ll get his degree in May from Florida in Family Youth and Community Sciences, a field close to his heart. Riggs’ father, former NFL Pro Bowler Gerald Riggs, started and runs the non-profit Florida Youth Track and Field.

Still, there are likely football motivations at play here as well. Riggs has been a regular on the field for the Gators since his freshman season, but switched from cornerback to safety before suffering a season-ending injury during his junior year.

Riggs played safety in 2013 and started all 12 games for the Gators, making 51 tackles, including 6.5 TFLs. The 5-9, 190-pound Riggs has the versatility to play just about any position in the secondary, making himself a valuable part of any team’s 85-man roster.

Multiple outlets are reporting that Riggs is set to be on campus in South Bend today, meeting with the staff and going over his academic options. Riggs considered the Irish when he was a high-profile recruit out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, the same school that produced Corey Holmes.

Riggs ran the fastest time at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl before choosing Florida instead of Charlie Weis and the Irish. That speed could help the Irish not just in the secondary, but on special teams as well.

Notre Dame has the scholarship available, and the Irish could add Riggs and immediately have an option to play on the boundary side of the field, with Bennett Jackson departing. He’d likely compete with Cole Luke for a starting job, but clearly has the versatility to play safety and nickel back as well, a position Riggs played at Florida.

Riggs would join the Irish in summer school if things worked out. Notre Dame accepted senior transfer Alex Wulfeck from Wake Forest, so the situation certainly isn’t unprecedented.

Drue Tranquill named first-team Academic All-American

Drue Tranquill

Drue Tranquill was named a first-team Academic All-American. The junior safety, who returned from his second major knee injury during his three-year career, earned the honors after posting a 3.74 GPA in mechanical engineering.

Tranquill is Notre Dame’s first academic All-American since Corey Robinson earned the honor after the 2014 season. He finished second on the team in tackles with 79 and lead the team in solo stops with 52. He also had two TFLs and an interception.

Tranquill is Notre Dame’s 60th Academic All-American, the third-most of any school behind Nebraska and Penn State. He’s active in the university community, serving as a mentor for the Core Leadership Team for Lifeworks Ministry, and is a member of Notre Dame Christian Athletes. He is a also member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and Rosenthal Leadership Academy.


Postseason Mailbag: Now Open

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly leads his team onto the field before the start of their game against Army in a NCAA college football game at the Alamodome on November 12, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

It’s been too long. Let’s talk about the season, the decisions ahead and where Notre Dame stands after its nightmare of a 2016 season.

Drop your questions on Twitter @KeithArnold or in the comments below.



If you’re interested in hearing my recap on the USC game and where Notre Dame’s goes now that the season is over, give a listen to the latest episode of Blown Coverage, with Newsweek’s John Walters. 


Report: Zaire set to depart with graduate transfer

Malik Zaire

The wheels are in motion for Malik Zaire‘s exit from Notre Dame. What felt like an inevitability after Zaire lost out to DeShone Kizer after the Texas game is now a reality, as the Ohio native is expected to receive his release tomorrow, according to a report from Pete Sampson at Irish Illustrated.

Sampson identified four programs as potential landing spots for Zaire: Florida, Pitt, Michigan State and Wisconsin, Power Five programs that all had better seasons (minus the Spartans) than Notre Dame. All have uncertainty atop their quarterback depth chart, though none look like guaranteed jobs.

With Notre Dame out of a bowl, Zaire can get a jump start on looking around, capable of taking visits and finding a home after the semester. That would let him join a program in time for spring drills, where he’d compete and be able to play out his final year of eligibility.

When Zaire leaves he’ll join a line of recent quarterbacks to finish their eligibility elsewhere. Dayne Crist, Andrew Hendrix, Gunner Kiel and Everett Golson all either played or were recruited by Brian Kelly and finished their careers elsewhere. That could leave a scenario—one many predict—where the top-two on Notre Dame’s depth chart depart, Kizer to the NFL and Zaire elsewhere, turning the keys over to Brandon Wimbush who redshirted this season.

Tillery apologizes for actions during USC game

Jerry Tillery 247

Sophomore Jerry Tillery issued an apology for two controversial incidents against USC. Notre Dame’s defensive tackle was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after a referee caught him stepping on Zach Banner‘s ankle. Cameras also spotted him intentionally hitting Aca’Cedric Ware‘s head after the Trojan running back was injured after a collision with Nicco Fertitta.

Tillery wrote on Twitter:

“I want to take full responsibility for my actions on Saturday. I am truly sorry. I acted in a way that was out of character for me. What I displayed in those two instances were completely unbecoming and not indicative of the kind of player or person I am. My actions in those two instances do not represent what my family or Notre Dame has molded me to be. I want to especially apologize to Aca’Cedric, Zach, their families and anyone else affected by what I did. I assure you I will learn and grow from this moment and become a better man because of it.”

While the backlash on social media has been harsh, USC head coach Clay Helton downplayed it.

“It was a poor decision by a young person. I know it’s not Notre Dame football and I know that’s not Brian Kelly,” Helton said. “He’s been a class act the whole way and I know he’ll address it with his player and handle it in a way that he sees fit. I have always found Brian to be a man of class and integrity.”

Ware himself responded via Twitter, doing his best to put the incident to rest.

Kelly stated after the game that he’d review the incidents, both plays Kelly didn’t see happen live. With the season over, Tillery’s discipline will be handled internally.