About three weeks ago, linebacker Joe Riggins announced that he was going to attend Northern Illinois to play his college football. Joe has since changed his mind for various reasons and has now decided that he will attend Akron.
Joe told HustleBelt in a statement that he "had a change of heart and I am going to de-commit from NIU and commit to the University of Akron."
There's one man who Akron fans can thank for Riggins' commitment to the Zips: defensive backs coach Otis Mounds.
"Coach Mounds is like an uncle to me. My dad and his family are real close, they used to coach together for 3 years at a local high school here in Florida. Coach Mounds also coached my brother and played high school football with my dad." Riggins added that Mounds is also a former track coach of his.
However, coach Mounds is not the only coach that Riggins has a connection with as he says that running backs coach Eric Hickson is also a close family friend.
"So to me it's going to feel like I am home away from home, and if you look at their coaching staff, they have a lot of experience. All of our families grew up together, so I already have a close knit relationship with those coaches."
As far as Riggins' goals while at Akron, he has quite a few. He says that he wants to get a degree, but is unsure of what he'll major in. Riggins says that he wants to play "good football", and play right away.
As far as what Riggins is looking forward to the most when he gets to Akron: spending time with the coaching staff.
"I'm very excited to play for a head coach like Terry Bowden whose resume speaks for itself. He will continue to recruit Florida kids and he will continue his winning success at the University of Akron. Also, finally getting the chance to be coached by someone I've known since I was 7 years old, coach Otis Mounds."
Akron is recruiting Riggins as a strong safety, which is different than what NIU was projecting him at. Joe says that he enjoys playing strong safety more, however he is open to playing whichever one the coaches decide is best for him and the team.
Akron was actually Joe's first official visit back in October during the football season. At that time, Riggins did not hold an offer however he knew he was interested in Akron and he knew the Zips coaching staff was interested in him as well.
Riggins is ultimately choosing Akron over offers from NIU, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Utah State, Hawaii, and Ohio.
After a long process, it seems that Joe Riggins has found a perfect fit at the University of Akron. Look for him to compete for playing time immediately upon his arrival on campus.
Excited about Joe's future as a Zip? Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl below: