The first Empire State prospect to commit to Syracuse in the 2016 class was Rochester’s Taylor Riggins. Just 10-days after picking up an offer, Riggins decided to pull the trigger and achieve a goal that has been set for years.
”Syracuse has always been a goal for me,” Riggins said. “Ever since I was little I was always thinking about them with basketball and football and everything. But mainly because it’s close to home and my parents will be able to come see the games.
”It’s pretty relieving now that I can just focus on this upcoming season. Get in the weight room and get bigger, faster, strong.”
Riggins was offered by Syracuse on the 15th. From that point forward, he was able to get to know the coaching staff on a personal level. The ability to quickly bond with them helped make the 6-foot-2 athlete comfortable with the big in-state school.
”It was pretty big,” Riggins said. “When you’re spending four years with the guys, you have to get to know them on a person level too, not only for football. On the visit, we definitely talked about personal stuff and not just football. With all of the coaches.”
So when he told Scott Shafer right before they started Thursday’s camp that he wanted to join the program, he received a positive response from a happy head coach.
”They were very excited,” Riggins said. “They have faith in me in the outside linebacker position. They had a camp today, so I committed towards the end of the visit talking to coach Shafer.”
In addition to his relationship with the coaching staff and the proximity to home, Riggins sees a strong fit between his skill set and Syracuse’s defensive system.
”Being an outside linebacker, they admired my flexibility and lankiness and athleticism,” Riggins said. “At outside linebacker, I can be a ballhawk flying all over the field.”
”They were very supportive,” Riggins said. “I have some family up there in Syracuse, so that’s pretty good. My parents love it. My mom has always been a fan and my dad loves it too.”
Riggins uncle on his dad’s side of the family, along with cousins, live in Syracuse. So expect a solid faction of his family to be in the Carrier Dome stands frequently throughout his career.