January 27, 2013

Riggs commits to Clemson





His father, Jim Riggs, was a 2-time All-ACC tight end in the 80s at Clemson.

Now Zach Riggs will follow in those footsteps.

The tight end verbally committed to Clemson on Sunday morning, as first-reported by Tigeirllustrated.com.

"I'm pretty excited," Riggs told Tigerillustrated.com Sunday morning. "I had the first meeting with coach (Dabo) Swinney at 9 a.m. My dad, my mom and me piled in (defensive tackles) coach (Dan) Brooks' truck and went to meet with coach Swinney in his office."

There the Greenville - JL Mann standout informed Clemson's head coach of his decision.

"Honestly this weekend did it for me," Riggs said. "Everyone was a class act there from the recruits to the parents to the coaches. Coach Swinney told me his plans for me and that sold me. I had an All-In chip in my pocket and I told him there's one more thing I wanted to tell him and I pulled it out and gave it to him. He said he's never seen that and was very excited."

What exactly are Swinney's plans for the jumbo athlete?

"It's still the greyshirt offer," Riggs said. "He said I'll probably get redshirted. He said it may take a couple of years and at times it may not seem like everything is always right, but to trust them. He said it will depend how I do and how I perform if I go on (full) scholarship. Anything can happen. It's a great opportunity and I'm excited."

The recruit arrived on campus on Friday night.

"I've always had in my mind what we were going to do on this visit," Riggs said. "First we had two hours of downtime. I had a lush, hotel room with two TVs and two showers in it. Everything you'd need. There was a cookie cake with a tiger paw that said 'welcome' on it in my room when I arrived. We went out to eat with all of the families, coaches and recruits. Then we went to downtown Clemson. I met a lot of the players and I'm more than happy to call them my teammates now."

Saturday was action packed.

"We talked with our academic advisors and that was good to hear," Riggs said. "Then we ate lunch at the West End Zone. We toured the football facilities. We went through the new indoor facility which is awesome. We saw the hill and watched videos in the stadium. We watched the big screen while standing in the middle of the field. I got chills the whole time. They had six recruits in and they wined and dined us and wanted us to come. They had my No. 85 jersey in the locker room with all of the colors, wristbands and cleats you could ask for. It's amazing."

The pledge from the Upstate native continues a legacy for his family at Clemson.

"My dad and I have always been waiting to see what's going to happen," Riggs explained. "I told him on the way there this weekend that I've always loved Clemson and he said it's a great place. After listening to coach Swinney and Jeff Davis talk on Saturday morning, my mom told me this is the place for me. On Saturday night I asked my dad if I should commit the next morning and he said it's my choice and my decision. I loved everything about it. My dad said they never had anything like the new facilities they have now when he was there."

The 6-foot-5, 248-pounder could grow into an offensive tackle.

"I'm a tight end as of now," Riggs said. "They want to get me into the program and see how I develop. I'm excited. I'll be enrolling there in June."

Riggs bench presses 265 pounds, squats 385, power cleans 235, runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and holds a 3.54 GPA.

As a senior, Riggs hauled in 34 passes for 610 yards and four touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 12 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns.

His dad starred at Clemson from 1983-86. In four seasons, the elder Riggs tallied 49 receptions for 650 yards and a touchdown.

Riggs went on to be drafted in the fourth round in 1987. He played six years with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1987-92 and one with the Washington Redskins in 1993.

Zach Riggs is coached by Mr. Brian Strickland.

*** To chat with other Clemson fans about this article please visit The West Zone message board.



 

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