The Firebirds offensive and defensive line mates each signed National Letters of Intent to continue their football and academic careers at
Riggins credited head coach
"I don't think many schools would help us the way
Of course, Riggins and Schulz did their part as well, off the field and on it. Riggins, a two-year starter on the offensive line, earned
Schulz was a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end, picking up All-
"With what we do, you need somebody at tight end that can move tackles off the line of scrimmage," Foster said of Schulz, the Firebirds' leader in pancake blocks, before adding: "He can catch."
Schulz grinned and reminded Foster that he was only targeted twice in two seasons, one of which he caught for a touchdown (last season).
"We threw you two passes!" Foster roared in mock indignation.
Schulz, who spurned an offer from Div. I Football Championship Subdivision program
"Me and my parents sat down and wrote a list of pros and cons of both schools and after that, we realized Pembroke would be a better place for me," said Schulz. "I felt at home there and know a couple of people there. I liked how the campus is set up and the environment there."
He joins a program that was revived in 2007 after more than 50 years and is coming off one of the best seasons in school history. The Braves, ranked in the national top 10 for much of 2013, matched their record for wins by going 9-2 and lost in the second round of the Div. II playoffs to
But head coach
"Coaches will leave but the players will be there and the school will be there," he said.
Richardson was excited about Schulz being among the 19 players UNCP signed Wednesday.
"Absolutely excited about him," Richardson said in a telephone interview. "Just a really big frame kid we think has a lot of potential to grow into it. ... In that body type, it's hard to find that and hard to coach that."
Schulz, who transferred from
"They had a very good season last year and I think the only way for them to go is up," he said. "They have a lot of talent on the team."
Schulz, who said he runs a 4.89 40, acknowledged that he will have to develop quicker feet in a spread offense but expects he will still be run-blocking more than pass-blocking.
The son of
RIGGINS ALL BUSINESS
Riggins said he received recruiting interest from
"I told him, 'You just need to go down there and see what you feel about it,'" Foster said.
Riggins' instant affinity with
"(He) really reminds me of
The son of
Riggins, who played both guard and tackle positions on the Firebirds offensive line, said he isn't sure where he'll play for the Vikings, but he knows what to do to improve his chances.
"Better feet, always," he said. "Just the main thing is getting faster off the ball and then just getting stronger in the weight room."
Neither he nor Schulz are strangers to the weight room.
"Hard work pays off at Southern Nash," assured Riggins. "Since day 1, we've worked hard in that weight room."
It's all part of the process that Foster outlined to them early in their Southern Nash careers.
"He said if I did everything he told me, just follow him and get good grades and have good test scores, all that would fall into place that I could play college football somewhere -- and he was right!" Riggins acknowledged.
"I don't want them to say they didn't know what to do. That's my goal," Foster said.
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