May 26, 2012

Wiggins wants to play above size at Challenge

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

Dallas Jackson is the National High School Sports Analyst for Rivals. Email him your questions and comments at DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

It is not news to Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek defensive back Shaquille Wiggins that people think he is undersized.

"I hear it every time I go out," he said. "People have been telling me I am too small, too little to play big receivers, it is always something like that.

"I enjoy showing them they are wrong."

At 5-feet-10 and 160 pounds, Wiggins may lack prototypical size but the Georgia commit has been fairing just fine.

While talk of his lean body type does not surprise him anymore, the invitation to the inaugural Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge certainly did.

"It wasn't that I didn't think I was good enough to be there," he said. "I just started seeing who was getting invited and didn't know if I would get my chance.

"I never think I am not good enough."

Now that he has accepted one of only 80 spots for players in the class of 2013, Wiggins will make the short trip to Atlanta's Lakewood Stadium on June 22-24 to line up against the best. While he thinks his spot is well-deserved, he said that the doubters will likely be out in full force.

"The reason I go to most camps that I do is to showcase my skills," Wiggins said. "To go against the guys that people say I can't cover pumps me up. It also gives me confidence every time I do it and I can use that at every step along the way."

Wiggins added that he doesn't understand why the perception is out there that he cannot cover bigger players because he does just that every day at practice.

Class of 2014 receiver, and fellow participant at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, Demarre Kitt stands 6-1 and weighs in at 190 pounds, that puts a 3-inch and 30-pound separation between he and Wiggins.

"Me and Demarre get after it," Wiggins said. "I would love if people started asking him how intense our one-on-ones get."

The practices are not only intense they are yet another boost in confidence for Wiggins.

"I am going against one of the best every day," he said. "That makes things a lot easier when I am going against other people."

With both Wiggins and Kitt attending the inaugural Challenge, Wiggins figures that the two will be matching up at some point. It is a challenge he welcomes with as many evaluators as possible.

"We know people want to see it so it is all good," Wiggins said. "Even though we go to the same school and get the reps in at practice people still want to see us line up so I am sure it will happen."

Wiggins also knows that he will be tested by many of the other best players across the country and he feels that coming out of this invitation-only camp and 7-on-7 tournament many of the naysayers will be silenced.

"Once we get through workouts and one-on-ones I think people will stop with the negative comments," he said. "The comments feed me but I know how I play.

"I don't think anything I do will make people stop saying that I am too small but I do think they will start saying that I deserve the recognition. They'll say I am a top 10 corner in the country."

Mike Farrell's take

The knock on Wiggins is and always has been his size, but there are many in the state of Georgia who swear it doesn't matter because he can play up to any size he wants. He loves a challenge and he will be going against some jumbo-sized wideouts so this is his chance to prove it won't be an issue. Wiggins has a lot of confidence and will be a vocal leader for his Southeast team, a team that will have a lot of swagger to start with.



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