If you follow the recruiting chatter (or simply read this blog on a regular basis—thank you for that, by the way) then you know Shaq Wiggins has been a handful for the Georgia coaching staff lately. Even though the Sandy Creek High School defensive back has been on Georgia’s verbal commit list for quite some time, it was beginning to look a little sketchy as to whether he’d actually sign with the Bulldogs at all.
If he wasn’t chatting up the Florida Gators, or talking about Texas A&M, then he was getting a bit too cozy with the South Carolina coaching staff. And even though he remained adamant throughout that he was only taking his visits and keeping his options open—just in case—it was becoming clear, after his final official to Georgia, that the staff was growing uneasy with all the extra press he was generating from the recruiting trail; after all, Wiggins wasn’t silently going about his business, he was speaking candidly about his thoughts, creating a lot of room for doubt in the process.
Enter coach Mark Richt to set the record straight—once and for all—that Wiggins either is or isn’t going to be a Georgia Bulldog.
Sunday, ESPN 150 cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) returned from an official visit to South Carolina. Later that evening he received a call from Mark Richt. The Georgia head coach asked if he should be worried about Wiggins changing his commitment from Georgia to the Gamecocks. Wiggins told Richt no, but that he still planned to take visits to Florida and Texas A&M.
After an in-home visit with Richt on Wednesday night, that is no longer the case.
I had a good talk with Coach Richt and Coach [Scott] Lakatos,” Wiggins said. “Coach Richt doesn’t want me to take any more official visits. He asked me if I felt UGA was the place I wanted to be and I told him yes. I talked it over with my parents and got their blessing. I just decided not to take any more official visits so those schools won’t waste their time on me and another kid can have those offers. (Kipp Adams, Dawgnation)
It was something that certainly needed to be done, but it’s also something seemingly out of character for Mark Richt—at least as far as we know. In all my years of following Georgia recruiting (under Richt), I have never heard tale of him asking a recruit to not take his officials or anything of the sort; Richt has always contended that Georgia sells itself and he doesn’t worry much about what other programs will do once his gets the verbal; that sort of thing has never been his style.
Personally, I like it; I wish he’d done it a lot sooner—and hopefully it sends a message to those prospects looking to do something similar down the line: you either Commit to the ‘G’ or don’t bother committing at all.
Yeah, I can dig it.