It was a good first season of college football for Indiana cornerback A'shon Riggins. The Hamilton, Ohio native was named BTN.com All-Freshman Team Honorable Mention after playing in 12 games last fall with eight starts. Peegs.com spoke with the IU sophomore about his first year with the Hoosiers, and about hos spring ball is going for him.
Riggins and the rest of the Indiana team returned to the field last week after being off for spring break. He said the hardest thing about returning to practice was getting your stamina back.
“It’s not that bad,” he said. “The toughest part is if you didn’t anything over break at all is trying to get your legs back in shape. Mentally the plays don’t leave you, and your technique doesn’t leave you. It is more of just stamina and stuff like that, but really it’s not that hard getting back into the flow of things.”
Riggins said that playing as much as he did as a true freshman has really helped him when it comes to the mental side of the game.
“I really have a way better understanding of the game,” he said about how playing last year helped him. “My I.Q. is going up, and a lot of the technique and a lot of the small things are now just like riding a bike for me. Things are becoming easier for me and I’m moving a lot faster and moving with more confidence. I also learned how important it is to take care of your body. You have to do the small things off the field and one of those was taking care of my body and making sure I stay healthy for an entire season.”
Cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby said that Riggins is still learning how to play the position after not playing it full-time in high school.
“When you’re talking about A’Shon, he is a guy that is still learning the game and so there are going to be some days are going to be bad when it comes to going back to technique when you get tired,” Coach Shelby said. “When we recruited A’Shon he played a lot of offense, but one thing you did see was the change of direction and the burst of speed. He played quarterback sometimes so that means he knows how to communicate and knows how to look at defenses. Those are the things that I looked at when I recruited him that told me that he could probably play corner for us. With that being said, he is still young because he wasn’t doing that every day, and he will sometimes have the freshman busts just learning football. Knowing what the offense will do in certain situations is something you learn as you get older, and that is what he needs to get better as we go along.”
Riggins said that he is excited to have Rashard Fant back for his fifth and final season at Indiana because of how much he has helped him as a player.
“It is a good thing,” he said about Fant being back. “I looked up to him my freshman year and he has given me a little more confidence by telling me the little things I need to focus on.”With this being Fant’s final season with the Hoosiers Riggins said he has noticed a little different attitude from the IU fifth-year senior.
“He is going a little harder with everything he does,” Riggins said about Fant. “We have the one word thing and his one word is Cherish. He takes on every moment full-speed. He is a good guy and he is not going to slack off and let anything slip away in his last year.”
Riggins said that in spring ball he is working on being more of a leader for the Indiana defense.
“I just really want to have more of a voice for the defense and be more vocal,” he said. “I want to be more confident in what I’m saying and in what I’m doing.”