Two seasons ago, Shaq Wiggins, as a true freshman, started eight games for his home state Georgia Bulldogs, leading the team with two interceptions. He spent his second season of college football watching from the sidelines as he sat out for one year due to NCAA transfer rules.
Rated as four-star cornerback and a member of the Scout 150 as a senior at Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek, Wiggins chose to transfer to Louisville in part to reunite with Todd Grantham, who departed Athens to become the Cardinals defensive coordinator, along with former high school teammate JaQuay Savage, a Texas A&M transfer, and Bulldog teammate Josh Harvey-Clemons.
After spending the 2014 season away from the playing field, Wiggins quickly cemented his spot as a starting cornerback during spring practice before an injury sidelined him for a few weeks. He quickly resumed that role as fall camp began and will be the starting corner when the Cardinals open the season on Sept. 5 against Auburn.
"It hasn't hit me yet," he said of quickly his U of L debut is approaching.
Wiggins debut in the U of L secondary will be a bit unique. Playing in the Georgia Dome, located just 30 minutes north of his high school, means he'll have "a lot" of family and friends in attendance. The opponent is also one that's very familiar with, having spent time at camps and playing against a majority of the Auburn roster.
"I'd say things happen for a reason," he said. "To be able to play back in Atlanta, my hometown, is a great feeling and it should be another good experience."
With Louisville losing its entire secondary, Wiggins will be counted on for a lot this season and he realizes the concern when it comes to rebuilding an entire unit.
"A lot of guys left to the league and it makes sense for people to worry about the secondary," he said. "Like the coaches said, we've been working hard. Coach Petrino has been testing us and we've showing up, staying hard and working our technique."
He also realizes that it is not realistic that a member of the Cardinals rebuilt secondary will be able replace Gerod Holliman's record-tying 14 interceptions from a year ago, but he does believe a group effort could result in even a higher total.
"I don't think it's possible for one person to get another 14 picks, but hopefully I'll get two this game, somebody else gets two this game, then another game somebody else gets two, so it adds up to 15 or 16."
Check out the video below for all of Wiggins comments.