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May 9, 2014
Wiggins gone; now what?
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While Friday's news that Shaq Wiggins has decided to transfer comes as somewhat of a surprise, it's not totally a shock.
According to a source, word was that Wiggins had become discouraged regarding potential playing time this fall.
Wiggins could not immediately be reached for comment, but Wednesday in a text to UGASports.com, said "no, not at all" when asked if he was considering a transfer after rumors first arose earlier that afternoon.
For those counting, Wiggins is the second Bulldog defensive back to leave the program following the decision to boot Josh Harvey-Clemons off the team for what the school said was a "violation of team rules."
Harvey-Clemons eventually wound up at Louisville, where he will redshirt this fall.
According to head coach Mark Richt, he had been talking with Wiggins about a possible transfer.
"Shaq and I have been talking over the last few days and a fresh start is what he believes is in his best interest," Richt said in statement. "We respect his decision and certainly wish him nothing but the best."
Wiggins played in 12 games as a freshman in 2013, recording 19 tackles with two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown against Vanderbilt.
However, his leaving does not do Georgia's depth any favors as his absence leaves Georgia with just four players - senior Damian Swann, junior Sheldon Dawson, Brendan Langley and redshirt junior Devin Bowman - who have experience playing cornerback on the collegiate level.
Wiggins spent much of the spring running with the second unit, losing reps to redshirt walk-on Aaron Davis.
So what's next at the position for the Bulldogs?
During a recent interview, defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt spoke very highly of redshirt freshman Reggie Wilkerson, who at this time a year ago was working with the first unit before tearing his ACL. The Florida native is expected to be cleared for football activities next month.
J.J. Green will play a key role.
Green moved from running back to defensive back, and for most of the spring worked out at the Star before a hamstring injury sidelined him the last week of the spring.
More help will be on the way in June.
That list includes junior college transfer Shattle Fenteng, former Brooks County standout Malkom Parrish, Tucker's Dominick Sanders and Florida native Shaquille Jones each of whom will now have a prime opportunity for early playing time.