Then, the Ohio wide receiver blew up on the gridiron. Kentucky offered him a scholarship and schools like Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan have showed interest. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder has caught 18 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns for Wayne High in Huber Heights.
The thing is, Wagner pledge to Iowa for basketball. That's been his passion. He hadn't considered a future in football. It's his first season on the varsity level.
"I played earlier in my life and always liked the sport. I stopped when I got to high school to focus more on basketball but my teammates and coaches told me it's my senior year. There's no pressure. Just go out and have fun. And that's what I'm doing," he said.
Wagner's emergence in football threw into question his commitment to Hawkeye hoops.
"Right now, I am fully committed to Iowa and am just focusing on helping my teammates win this year," he said.
Wagner said the plan right now is to sign with Iowa basketball in November. He's unsure if football is something he's interested in playing in college.
"I'm not sure right now. It's not something I'm really focused on," Wagner said.
The football attention caught Wagner off guard. He joined the team for fun and to be with his friends.
"It's very surprising and not planned at all. I didn't think I was that good. I just knew I was surrounded by great teammates and coaches to help me with everything," he said.
The Hawkeye hoops coaches are making sure Wagner knows how much he's wanted in Iowa City.
"Coach (Sherman) Dillard and Coach (Fran) McCaffery have both been in touch with me a lot. They told me to keep having fun in what I'm doing, just protect myself," he said.