May 21, 2012

Wiggins eyes 'Challenge'

It might be hard to find a prospect that is currently working harder than Sandy Creek cornerback Shaquille Wiggins.

In the last month, the Georgia commit has been recruiting top-flight talent to join him in the Athens, working hard to get bigger and stronger, fine tuning his game in his final spring practices as a prep athlete, and earning invites to elite camps such as The Opening and the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge.

With the recognition and accolades beginning to pick up, Wiggin's knows that his Sandy Creek Patriots come first.

"Working this spring and getting better has been the No.1 thing for me," said Wiggins. "We had a great spring and some great practice time. We had like eight or nine practices to get better and I'm proud of my team and myself for how we got better this spring. I've been working in the weight room and three days a week on my technique and all. I've put on at least four pounds since the end of the season, so I'm looking to keep that up too."

Second on Wiggins' list of things to work on has been the current recruiting class for his future team, and the three star prospect has been tireless in that regard as well.

"I would say recruiting has been No. 2 on my list," said Wiggins. "I've been working hard on that and I was recently talking with Coach (Mark) Richt in his office with Josh (Cardiello) and that red-headed dude from Walton, (Brandon) Kublanow. We were talking about the current class and all, and I told them I'm just going to keep working hard."

Since late December when he was at Rising Seniors, Wiggins has spent a great deal of time around some of the top recruits in the country, and he will again have that opportunity on June 22-24 in Atlanta when he competes in the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge.

The invite to the event came as a bit of a surprise to Wiggins, but, at the same time, he knows it will give him a chance to prove that he is one of the top defensive backs in the entire country.

"At first I wasn't expecting to even get in once I saw it on," he said. "Then Keith (Niebuhr) gave me a call and asked me if I wanted to be in the Five Star Challenge and he told me the prospects he would be there. I wouldn't say rankings are everything, but I do care about the ranking associated with my name and stuff like that, so I'm going to go out there and let them see that I should be considered as one of the best defensive backs in the 2013 class. I'm just going to stay humble and go out and work."

While the Sandy Creek standout has big plans for the work he will do between the lines in Atlanta, he also plans to have some conversations with the high profile recruits that will be attending the event about where he will play at the next level.

"Oh yeah, talking with guys about UGA and some recruiting will most definitely happen," laughed Wiggins. "We will be there with those guys for a couple of days, in a hotel, so conversation will lead up to talking about colleges and where we plan on going. It is just like Rising Seniors where we stayed with each other and bonds really grew so I expect that. There will be some top prospects there that hopefully we can get down to Georgia."

Going into an event with a chance to compete against some of the best high school prospects in the country might make some players nervous or even be a tad intimidating.

Wiggins, however, doesn't anticipate experiencing either of those feelings as he competes in Atlanta, but does feel he is prepared mentally for the challenge.

"My mindset is to go in there and just play my game, and not try to impress anyone," he said. "I'm not going to try to do things I can't do. I'm just going to go in there and do what I do best. I feel that is the best way to do it. I just plan to compete against the top receivers that go against me and play my game."

Whether it has been through tweets or quotes from other recruits, Wiggins has made as much of a name for himself as recruiter in the current class as much as he has a prospect.

After putting in a ton of hard work on the trail and talking with a plethora of recruits, the UGA pledge has a message that will put Bulldog Nation on the edge of their seats regarding their 2013 signing class.

"A lot of people say about college recruiting classes, 'we are going to have the best class' and stuff like that," said Wiggins. "But realistically, with all of the prospects we have talked to and just hung around, Georgia is going to have a real great class. It is going to be big. I'm not being sarcastic or saying it because I am committed to the school, but we are going to have a real, real good class."

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