Son of Clemson great visited Saturday


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The son of a former Clemson great was on campus Saturday morning for the Tigers’ spring practice in Death Valley, and he came away impressed with the speed of the college game.

Greenville (J.L. Mann) tight end Zach Riggs – the son of former Clemson tight end Jim Riggs – made a visit to Clemson just a week after visiting N.C. State and two weeks after visiting Wake Forest.

“It was a good experience to see a college practice as compared to a high school practice,” Riggs told TigerNet Sunday. “It was good to see the atmosphere, the speed and the level of the game and the competition. What really stood out for me was the speed and the physicality of the game – they couldn’t really go full speed but just seeing the difference between their 3-on-3 and our 3-on-3 was drastic. Just to see their pad level, it was a good experience to see that.”

Riggs’ dad played at Clemson from 1983-86, and in four seasons he had 49 receptions for 650 yards and a touchdown.

The elder Riggs said that today’s practices are a cakewalk compared to what he had to endure under Danny Ford.

“He said it was a little bit different, because they didn’t have to wait until the third practice to put on pads,” he said. “He told me that every practice and every drill was full speed, and he wishes he played under today’s rules. He said it would be a cakewalk – he remembers when they would have three practices a day in full pads. It was brutal.”

Riggs said he to listened to the some of the offensive play-calling during the practice, and also got a moment with head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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before the practice started.

“Coach Swinney pulled me aside right at the beginning, and he told me I have filled out a lot since last summer,” he said. “I am now 6-5 ½ and 245 pounds, so he told me I had really grown up. He asked me how I would like to be a Clemson Tiger, but he didn’t mention anything about an offer.”

Riggs has yet to receive an offer, but is hearing from a lot of different schools.

“I probably hear from Wake Forest, N.C. State, Maryland and Clemson the most,” he said. “But I am also hearing from South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Virginia. Wake Forest is probably the closest to offering. All of the coaches have invited me to their one-day camps, and they want to evaluate me and see how I work with the coaching staffs and the different plays they call.”

Riggs said he plans on making it to Swinney’s camp in June, but in the meantime will keep preparing for his senior season for the Patriots, where his head coach [Brian Strickland] shares offensive play-calling duties with another former Tiger great – quarterback Rodney Williams.

“It is definitely great having my dad and Rodney Williams around,” he said. “They don’t put a lot of pressure on us, but they do put drive into our backsides during practice. They obviously know what they are talking about. It’s always good to be around people that have been there and done that.”

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