RICHMOND — You can’t get much closer to a hometown kid than Reggie Diggs. The former University of Richmond player came to the Spiders from his hometown of Dendron, Va. And on Tuesday, Diggs finally took the field for the first time since training camp began.
Diggs suffered a knee injury over the summer and needed arthroscopic surgery. He was placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list at the start of camp and was removed from the list Tuesday.
“The biggest thing is getting back into football shape,” Diggs said. “… I didn’t do a lot today. It’s my first day back. They’re just trying to ease me back into the groove. I did individuals with my coaches but that was pretty much it.”
Staying on the PUP list for that length of time was disheartening for Diggs, but he said he was receiving treatment three times a day.
“You just got to stay mentally strong,” Diggs said. “It sucks being on the sidelines watching not being out there participating. It just makes you work that much harder.”
Diggs had 191 catches for 2,542 yards and 13 touchdowns with the Spiders. Diggs ranks in the top 12 in program history in all three categories. As a senior captain, Diggs led Richmond to the FCS playoffs. Richmond fell to eventual FCS national champion North Dakota State in the national semifinals.
Over the next few days, Diggs will slowly be getting into the swing of things. He’s not trying to rush it. But being in the city where he’s played over the past four years helps.
“[Being back] feels good,” Diggs said. “[I’m] working hard, just trying to strengthen my knee and work myself back in the groove.”
As Diggs trotted off the field after his first practice back from injury, he heard some fans calling his name. He smiled, turned and waved.
One of the best parts about the Richmond-based training camp? “People supporting me,” Diggs said.