- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Since cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) committed to the University of Georgia in February, the ESPN 150 prospect has been unabashed in his efforts to bring other top recruits to Athens. Several subsequent commitments have mentioned Wiggins as being in their ear, and as the highest rated Georgia commitment to date in the 2013 recruiting cycle, Wiggins is seen by many as the face of the Bulldogs' class.
Flash forward five months, and recent events have fueled speculation regarding Wiggins’ commitment to Georgia. Wiggins has taken several visits to other programs in the last month, with the latest being to Knoxville. He also has indicated that he and several other players intend to commit to the same school.
“I visited Tennessee because once my recruiting really picked up last spring they were my first SEC offer,” Wiggins said. “I had a lot of interest in them when coach Lance Thompson and coach Terry Joseph were there and they were a place I could have seen myself, and I thought about committing. But once they left they lost contact with me until Coach (Derrick) Ansley came in and came by during the spring.”
Wiggins had been expected to attend Friday Night Lights this weekend at the University of Florida, but was unable to make it due to a late flight. While at Champion Gridiron Kings at Walt Disney World, he said his travel plans are not finished.
“I am still committed to Georgia, but I am still taking looks,” Wiggins said. “I plan to take officials to Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia and Ole Miss.”
With prospects meeting earlier and earlier on college visits and during recruiting events, the student-athletes are able to build strong relationships and share their thoughts on the recruiting process. One thing Wiggins has always wanted to do is find a common college with several of those recruits and play together at the next level. Wiggins has recently discovered just how difficult it can be to find a similar fit.
“I am talking to other recruits, like Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, Fla./Wharton), Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan), Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly Co.) and Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) to see where we really want to be and just see how things are for everyone,” Wiggins said. “It is important to feel you are going to be a part of a strong class and go to school with your close friends.
"We all see each other at these events, and we hope to go to college and go pro together, so it is kind of disheartening to find out we cannot all go to the same college team. But in the end, we have to find the best fit for ourselves.”
His plan took a bit of a detour when Foster, the No. 2 prospect in the country, committed two weeks ago to Auburn. With Matthews, a Georgia commitment, set to take a trip next weekend to Auburn with his parents, Wiggins is not sure where things will end up with the ESPN 150 safety.
“A select few of us knew Reuben Foster was going to Auburn a month ago, and with him moving to Auburn High School right down the street, it was not a surprise,” Wiggins said. “Tray Matthews and Reuben have a strong bond, but I know Tray's mom really loves Georgia. I do not know what he is going to do and I would not say he is going to switch or decommit that weekend, but at the end of the day, if Tray says he wants to go to Auburn instead of Georgia, there is really nothing she can do about it.”
Wiggins is still putting his best effort into bringing a top class to Athens.
“I still keep in touch with prospects that have Georgia offers, and I talked to Shaun McGee (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood) before he committed,” Wiggins said. “We need to get guys like Alvin Kamara and Montravius Adams to have the kind of class I am hoping for.”
7hGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough