Losing Riggs will be tough for the Gators.
Just when you thought it was over, more doom and gloom has struck the Florida Gators football program.
The latest hit comes courtesy of safety Cody Riggs, who head coach Will Muschamp has confirmed will transfer, per The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu:
Muschamp confirms Riggs transferring in May. Matt Jones second surgery on knee. 90 percent healed. Way ahead of sked.— Robbie Andreu (@RobbieAndreu) February 5, 2014
Update: Thursday, 3:30 p.m. ET
According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Riggs decision to not play football was because of academics, not football:
Florida defensive back Cody Riggs, the Gators starting safety last season, said in a phone interview on Thursday that his decision to leave the school was rooted more in academics than football.
“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.”
-- END OF UPDATE --
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native reportedly hopes to transfer to a school where he would have the opportunity to play the wide cornerback position.
“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,” Muschamp said, via Andreu’s report. “He wanted a fresh start. And I appreciate his contributions to Florida.”
Riggs started all 12 games for Florida last season. He recorded 51 tackles (6.5 for loss) and 1.5 sacks.
A soon-to-be senior, Riggs is scheduled to graduate in June, granting him immediate eligibility to play due to NCAA transfer rules.
This marks the eighth player to transfer from the Gators this offseason. The team saw seven players transfer back in December—headlined by former 5-star tight end Kent Taylor and quarterbacks Tyler Murphy and Max Staver.
Florida also lost four underclassmen to the NFL draft, including defensive tackle Dominique Easley, linebacker Ronald Powell and cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson.
These losses are devastating for Muschamp and his coaching staff. Then again, what else would you expect after the Gators finished 4-8 last season, recording the fewest wins in school history since going winless in 1979?
Marcus Maye, Keanu Neal and Marcell Harris will be names to watch as possible replacements for Riggs.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBStats.com.