can't be good when he's doing a michigan interview and he says tennessee stands out.
ACE: Catching Up With Shaq Wiggins
Previously: Introducing Shaq Wiggins
Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek CB Shaq Wiggins is a member of both the ESPNU 150 Watch List and the Early 247 for the class of 2013. He has been high on Michigan throughout the early stages of the recruiting process after an outstanding performance at last summer's Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Southfield put him on the radar of several Midwest schools. Wiggins holds offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Tennesee, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Ball State, Ohio, and Toledo, and he was in Michigan Stadium a couple weeks ago to take in the Ohio State game. I caught up with Shaq over the weekend to get the latest on his status:
ACE: How's everything going in terms of your recruitment? How many offers are you sitting on right now?
SHAQ: Still sitting on eight. A couple schools came to see me, and for the most part they want me to come to their junior days and stuff like that. I'm going to sit down and pick out some of the schools that I'm going to consider and go to their junior days.
ACE: Are there any schools that are standing out for you right now?
SHAQ: I would probably say Tennessee right now.
ACE: You had the chance to come up and visit Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game. What were your impressions of Michigan coming out of that?
SHAQ: Well, right off the bat, I mean the crowd—114,000 fans—that was pretty amazing, I never saw that before. I know Ohio State and Michigan are good rivals. They executed well against Ohio State, the play was great, the environment was great—it just makes you think more and more about being a Michigan Wolverine.
ACE: Did you get the chance to talk to the coaches while you were up on your visit? What have they had to say about your recruitment?
SHAQ: I talked to Coach Montgomery most of the time, and I talked to Coach Mallory for a little bit. They were telling me to keep focusing—this was while the season was going on—keep focusing on my style of play and just playing hard for my team and they would come to see me in the next two weeks when they come and recruit the South.
ACE: What's the status of your Michigan offer? Depending on where you look, it says you may have one or you may not.
SHAQ: Yeah, I don't know why—someone talked to me the other day [and said that] on ESPN the check was off my Michigan offer or something like that. I know I have a Michigan offer, so I don't know what the rumors are or anything like that, but I can't worry about that.
ACE: Did visiting Michigan change how you look at the school and how they fit in with the teams you're looking at right now?
SHAQ: Yeah, it definitely gives a little spark in my eye. Just looking at the freshman, Blake Countess, playing early, and the depth chart looks pretty good. So, I mean, Michigan I would say is a priority.
ACE: Looking at your season, you guys went through the regular season undefeated and got into the third round of the playoffs. How'd you feel about your team's performance this year and your performance individually?
SHAQ: My team's performance, I thought it was as good as it could get. In the last game we didn't play as well as we should have, but as a team throughout the whole season, the season was great. We played an undefeated regular season and won the regional championship, so some of the goals we set we accomplished them, and obviously the goal we set to win the state championship didn't go as planned. All we can do is come in harder next year. My season individually, you know, I never thought I would have nine interceptions in one season. I guess from all the hard work in the summertime, that's what I got.
ACE: Nine picks is obviously a very impressive number. How'd you feel you improved over the season, and what are you still working on for the next level?
SHAQ: I try and get better at every aspect of the game, especially at cornerback, I try to work at everything. But the most important thing that I want to work on is my size, a lot of people talk about my size—not that I really take offense to that, it's true, I have to get bigger, stronger for the next level in order to contribute to my team. I would probably say that's one of the main focuses of my game. Once I get a little stronger and bigger I think my game will be kind of complete and good and I'm just hoping to get better.
ACE: Now that your season is over, what are you looking at in terms of possible junior days and summer visits?
SHAQ: Yeah—hopefully Michigan again. I know I'm taking a trip to Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and maybe one more school.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline about when you'd like to wrap up your recruitment?
SHAQ: I'm hoping summertime of 2012, going into my senior season, but I'm not trying to rush anything. I would like to get my recruitment over with by summer so I can just focus straight on my season.
I wouldn't take too much away from that—he's visited Tennessee twice, so they're going to be at the forefront of his mind right now, but he nearly committed to Michigan after the OSU game. I also hadn't asked him about Michigan at that point. It's tough to get the tone of a conversation across in a transcript, but he paused for a while before throwing Tennessee out there—it certainly wasn't an emphatic naming of a leader. I was more struck by his reaction to the OSU visit.
That he was the one who tweeted he almost committed after the game. I would say he sounds to be very interested in M.
Good interview, Ace.
He is a member of the ESPN 150 Watchlist... Not the actual ESPN 150, because that isn't out yet, correct?
If true, you may want to make a quick edit just to avoid confusion
.. and he sounds like he is SEC - all day.
Just wondering—where are you getting this "SEC all day" vibe? I mean, Wiggins nearly committed on the OSU visit. Doesn't scream "SEC" to me at all, just that he's from the South and therefore he's going to be recruited mostly by southern schools.
If there is a southern kid considering northern schools, that doesn't make them an SEC guy. Were Denard, Martavious, or Smitty considered SEC guys? A kid from Georgia looking at Michigan, with a visit, that's legit.
Oh, and great interview Ace!
If you paid attention to his recruitment, he's not really an inevitably-bound-for-the-SEC guy. That doesn't mean he won't choose an SEC school, but he's open to others.
i dont think he needs to change it. i assumed that people already know that espn's 150 for 2013 is not done yet. thats why its the watchlist.
Getting up to speed real quick here. I'm happy with your progress as a recruiting analyst.
1. Ace, your questions have more personal touches (non-Sandusky), are more informative, and are all around more enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work -- you're getting there!
2. I really like this kid. He sounds very well-spoke and humble. I don't mind the Tennessee statement. It just sounds honest. I get the feeling he'd get along great with Coach Hoke.
ok, ok, a 3rd thought: The Wake Forest offer stands out to me. They do a tremendous job of CB recruiting (snagged a Pahokee kid, Merrill Noel from FSU 2 years ago), and have put at least three DBs in the pros over the last 5 years. Their CBs tend to have confidence in spades.
The Ohio State offer says more to me than the Wake Forest offer.
Should it be cause for concern that he doesn't hold an offer from UGA or GT? Are they just late getting to the party, or is there reason for why they haven't offered someone from their own backyard?
Michigan has offered more players than UGA or GT, so perhaps Michigan is just ahead of the game.
Great interview.... I like how you take an approach as a "mentor" as opposed to bombarding him with, "So, how much to you like Michigan? When are you visiting Michigan? Who are you talking to at Michigan?"
I like how you talk to these kids like they are grown ups and you're interested in more than just if they'll choose to be a Wolverine.
"They executed well against Ohio State, the play was great, the environment was great—it just makes you more and more ______ about being a Michigan Wolverine."
I'm going with 'excited.'
I think the only mistake this young man has made so far was not just going ahead and commiting. Pull the trigger! (Totally in jest. I like when kids take their time, but ultimately join the good guys in A2.)
Great interview, Ace! It's never too early to get excited about the 2013 class. With D. Thomas and Sugar in the class already, things are shaping up already. Love it.
Sugar Bowl Shane Morris?
Whoops, that was actually "think more and more about being a Michigan Wolverine"—Monday morning transcribing, ladies and gentlemen.
Thanks for the heads up, WolverineLake.