Alabama’s Nick Saban tried to steal one of UGA’s top recruits.
DB Shaq Wiggins, who committed to UGA a couple of weeks ago, rode with a couple of his Sandy Creek High School teammates for an unofficial visit to Alabama last Thursday. Wiggins got called into Saban’s office.
“Coach Saban was describing my highlight film and talking about he hadn’t seen a cornerback with cover skills like mine in a long time,” Wiggins told the AJC on Sunday night.
“It was a great conversation, and right at the end he said ‘I’ll offer you a scholarship to Alabama if you commit … today.’ Then he paused, waiting for a response. He took me by surprise by saying all of that.”
“Then we started talking again, and I just kind of told him that I was honored but I’m staying with Georgia. And it was an honor. That was Nick Saban, and that will probably be a conversation that I will never forget.”
[Note: It was an ingenious recruiting approach by Saban. If Wiggins takes the deal, Saban wins one of Mark Richt's recruits in Hollywood fashion. If Wiggins declines (which he did), then technically Alabama never offered]
Saban isn’t the only coach trying to steal Wiggins away from UGA. After pledging to the Bulldogs, Wiggins was offered by Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Clemson — as if he never committed. However, that’s common with top prospects, to be recruited by competing schools until the paperwork is signed. This is not Big Ten territory.
“I don’t know what the deal is with all the offers after I committed to Georgia,” Wiggins said with a laugh. “When the colleges come up to my high school, they ask me ‘Are you with Georgia?’ My response is ‘I’m 100 percent with Georgia’ and then they’re like ‘We’re still going to put an offer on the table.’ I guess it’s a good thing, and I appreciate the offers, but I’m going to Georgia.”
Wiggins, with his outgoing and charismatic personality, may be UGA’s most important recruiter over the next year – sort of like Ray Drew was with the “Dream Team” class. He worked hard to speak on behalf of the Bulldogs to other UGA targets such as LB Reuben Foster, RB Alvin Kamara and WR Tramel Terry at Saturday’s Junior Day.
Foster, who is committed to Alabama but flirting with UGA coaches who are trying to steal him away, got excited when Bulldogs fans chanted his name at Saturday’s basketball game. “He really liked that,” Wiggins said. “I think Georgia’s coaches also did a good job with the recruits there with getting it into their heads that Georgia is a good place to be.”
Unfortunately for UGA, Mark Richt was not available to meet Foster or the other star-studded recruits in person because he reportedly out of town for family reasons.
Back to Wiggins: He plans to return to UGA for another Junior Day this Saturday. The Bulldogs and Georgia Tech are “duking it out” for one of the state’s top offensive linemen.
RELATED: Georgia Tech offered two of the state’s top high school juniors on Saturday.
FROM OVER THE WEEKEND
IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES
INSTANT AJC RECRUITING CLASSICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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