February 27, 2009

Seeing double in Florida

Pulling two out of state prospects out of the same school isn't the easiest trick in the world to pull off but the Buckeyes have had success in the past doing it. Last season the Buckeyes landed both Dorian Bell and Corey Brown out of Gateway high school in Pennsylvania and the year before it was Etienne Sabino and Travis Howard out of Dr. Krop in the Sunshine State making it an astonishing two-for-two run.

Now the Buckeyes have their sights set on St. Thomas Aquinas high school in Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) and on a pair of cornerbacks. Ohio State fans know all about Lamarcus Joyner but they are going to learn a lot about fellow defensive back Cody Riggs in the coming months.

The 5-foot-8, 166-pound corner made a splash onto the scene last season and then followed it up with a strong showing in San Antonio (Texas) at the U.S. Army All-American combine. That was good enough to net him more than half of a dozen offers from large schools and plenty more are on the way.

"I am probably more physical and sometimes I prefer on bigger receivers even though I am smaller but I feel as if I get my hands on them then I don't feel that they can do much against me," Riggs said while describing his own game.

Riggs has been hearing frequently from schools like Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Pittsburgh and Illinois but he has also been hearing from Ohio State even though there seems to be a wrench in the lines of communication between the two parties. Luckily for the Buckeyes they have current signee Duron Carter there to act as an intermediary to inform Riggs of his offer status.

"That's what I have been informed from Duron," Riggs said. "They don't have my address so they haven't been able to send me anything."

The Buckeyes have had tremendous success in recent years with their cornerbacks and even though Malcolm Jenkins had what many are calling a sub-par NFL Scouting Combine there is a strong pedigree in place in Columbus and that is something that has caught Riggs' eye.

"I like it a lot," Riggs said. "I talked to coach (Cris) Carter and he said that 17 of their last starting 18 corners went to the NFL to play. That is a really big deciding factor for me."

New teammate Joyner transferred into the program from Miami (Fla.) Southwest high school but the two have had a chance to discuss several of the schools out on the radar including Ohio State.

"Lamarcus told me that he likes it a lot," Riggs said. "We have talked a lot and he said that I would most likely like it up there."

Carter's recruitment followed a similar path with a formal offer not being presented until later in the process and that one turned out just fine for the Buckeyes.

"Our coach is old school and we don't hear about a lot of our offers until later and he got his during the season (while at Southwest HS) and that he had early contact with them and he said I would like it a lot up there."

And it doesn't hurt the Buckeyes with having Carter in Riggs' ear as well.

"He said the facilities are amazing and that it is really nice up there and that the campus is beautiful," Riggs said.

Riggs plans on being busy during the spring when he will try and hit several events including some spring games in-state and beyond if his schedule allows him to.

"I plan on going to Florida State's and Florida's spring game and probably Notre Dame's spring game," Riggs said. "I am not sure which other ones I can fit in because some are going to overlap others."

Is there any chance that he might make it to Ohio State's spring game on April 25th if his schedule allows it?

"If they send me an invite," Riggs said. "If they don't send me an invite then I probably wouldn't."

So there is no chance that he would just walk up to the gate and buy a ticket?

"Yeah, that wouldn't make sense," Riggs joked.

Despite checking in at 5-foot-8 Riggs has always been matched up against big receivers. Last season his fellow corner was only 5-foot-6 so it was up to Cody to try and take down the bigger guy. Riggs would love the challenge in college of playing out on an island because that is what he is familiar with from high school.

"I play that the entire game because in our defense we have no safety over top with cover-zero and nine in the box," Riggs said. "I always would get the taller receiver and I was always put on an island."

Plus Riggs has had the opportunity to go against a pretty good receiver in practice as well day-in and day-out.

"I covered Duron every day in practice," Riggs said.

Who got the best of that battle?

"Probably at the beginning he did and the end he didn't get too much on me," Riggs said. "Especially when I was training for (the Army Combine) I worked out with him and he didn't catch any balls on me."

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