Clemson target pleased to wear dad's number in all-star game


by - Staff Writer -
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Number 99 will look just fine on Zach Riggs.

The 6-5, 240-pound tight end out of Greenville (SC) J.L. Mann is currently being recruited by Clemson, but will suit up for the North squad in the North-South All-Star Game in December wearing his dad’s old number.

Riggs told TigerNet Tuesday night that he is excited about going to Myrtle Beach in December and is looking forward to carrying on the Riggs’ tradition.

“I was actually in my fourth period AP Statistics class, and the AD came in and got me out of class and took me to Coach [Brian] Strickland’s office,” Riggs said. “He said ‘How do you like Myrtle Beach?’ I was like, ‘I love the beach.’ He said good, cause you are wearing No. 99 in the North-South game.’ That is the number my dad wore in college, so it is kind of funny they gave me that number. I have worked very hard the last months and years to achieve something like this. It makes me very happy.”

The elder Riggs played for the Tigers from 1983-1986 and caught 49 passes for 650 yards. Riggs also played six seasons in NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals (1987-1992) and the Washington Redskins (1993) catching 37 passes for 274 yards in 82 career games.

Riggs said that when he told his dad that he was wearing his number he gave him a hard time about being an offensive player wearing a defensive number.

“He kind of laughed and chuckled about it, and asked me if I was playing defense, because that is a defensive number,” Riggs said.

As a junior, Riggs caught passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns.

His offensive coordinator is former Clemson quarterback Rodney Williams, and Riggs said that he is tested - mentally and physically - every day.

“We get pushed every day, mentally and physically,” Riggs said. “We might run a play a thousand times until we get it right, and then Coach Williams will switch it up. He is always trying new things, and innovative things.”

The Tigers have offered Riggs a gray-shirt opportunity and he said that he remains in constant contact with defensive tackles coach and recruiter Dan BrooksDan Brooks
Assistant Coach / Defensive Line
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.

“I talk to Coach Brooks once a week,” Riggs said. “He will call me on a Wednesday or a Thursday, and he will talk about the Clemson game or my game. They tell me that they would love to have me there, and that they think I can make a difference in the program. It is good to see what they are saying.”

Riggs said that as his season winds down, recruiting is starting to pick up and he is hearing from several different schools.

“Last week I went to up to Elon, and this weekend I am going to Richmond,” Riggs said. “I am hearing from Kentucky, and all of the Southern Conference schools are sending me letters. I hear from N.C. State and Virginia Tech, but nothing consistent. It will start picking up here in the next couple of weeks, at least that is what all the coaches are telling me. “

With the increased recruiting attention, Riggs said that he will wait as long as he needs before making a decision in order to examine all of his options.

“I am gonna have to wait it out and see what my options are,” Riggs said. “I will wait until December or January if I have to. I am just going to weigh my options and see what happens.”

The 64th South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association North-South All-Star Football Game will be held at 12:30 p.m. on December 8 at Myrtle Beach High School's Doug Shaw Stadium.

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