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June 2, 2005

Traverse City TE/lineman has size and speed

Traverse City St. Francis defensive end Patrick Rigan (6-6, 235) is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, but the versatile Northern Michigan standout has seen half of Big Ten travel to Cherry Country during the May evaluation period.

Rigan is confident that offers will start rolling in after he performs at the upcoming adidas combine at Notre Dame.

"I have been running 40's consistently at 4.6," said Rigan. "If we run with cleats on the track, I am pretty sure I can get it down to 4.5. That is my goal right now."

Speed has never been an issue for Rigan, who plays defensive end, tight end, and offensive tackle of Division 7 powerhouse St. Francis.

"I would have to say that I rely on my speed, quite a bit for how big I am," said Rigan, who has been working with a personal trainer this spring to get stronger and add weight to his 6-foot-6 frame. "My trainer thinks that I'll have no problem getting my weight up to 250 and my bench press over 300 pounds."

Rigan's reliance on his speed is partially the result of a shoulder injury suffered during his sophomore season. As a second-year starter for St. Francis, Patrick incurred a slight tear of tissue in his shoulder. The injury remained during his junior season, but a winter of stringent rehab has Rigan's shoulder feeling close to 100%.

The combination of a healthy shoulder and the use of a personal trainer should allow Rigan to put good strength numbers at the South Bend adidas combine. That event will also give scouts a chance to see him compete in drills for the first time this season.

Rigan, ranked the No. 7 player in the state of Michigan by Spartanmag.com, was one of a handful of the state's top football players not in attendance at the NIKE Camp at Ann Arbor.

While the Nike Camp was going on, Rigan was on an unofficial visit to Central Michigan University. The Chippewas are recruiting Rigan as a tight end and offensive tackle prospect.

At CMU, Rigan could follow the same path as former Rockford (MI) star Joe Staley, who saw the field as a 6-4, 235 pound tight end two years ago before making the move to the offensive line. Last season Staley tipped the scales at 290, starting opposite another Rockford lineman, Adam Kieft, a fifth-round NFL draft pick. As a senior, Staley led Rockford in receiving and was a conference track champ in the 100.

Rigan can see himself playing defensive end, tight end, or tackle.

"Right now, I am keeping my options open," said Rigan, who averaged 15.6 yards per catch as a tight end and registered 96 tackles at defensive end as a junior. "Some schools are recruiting me as an athlete, some are recruiting me as tight end, some as a defensive end, and some are recruiting me as both."

MSU falls into the latter category, according to Rigan, who is being recruited by receivers coach Jim McElwain. As a Spartan, Rigan would get a look at tight end and or defensive end.

Rigan is impressed with McElwain and the MSU campus, which he visited for the first time during the Spartans' junior day.

"MSU was really nice, I had a good time," Rigan said. "When you walk in the stadium … it just feels the way you'd expect a Big Ten venue to feel like."

MSU is among the schools recruiting Rigan the hardest and the Spartans will get a one-day visit from the St. Francis star during MSU's June camp.

Rigan has attended junior days at MSU, Michigan and Notre Dame. He has also taken unofficial visits to Iowa, CMU, and Missouri.

Indiana, Northwestern, and Penn State have also shown interest in Rigan.



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