KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’ football’s biggest offseason addition remains headed for the Vols’ secondary.
Shaq Wiggins told SEC Country Wednesday morning that he remains committed to Tennessee and will enroll as scheduled next week after visiting Mississippi State last weekend.
“I’m still committed to Tennessee, and nothing has changed, I feel good about playing my last year with Tennessee,” said Wiggins, a graduate transfer cornerback from Louisville who is eligible to play immediately. “I have a great relationship with (Mississippi State defensive coordinator) Coach Todd Grantham and they really wanted me to see the place.
“I respect those coaches and especially Coach Grantham, I been with him my whole college career, so I took a look.”
Wiggins began his career at Georgia. He’s expected to start for the Vols immediately.
“It was a good visit (to Mississippi State), and I like coach (Dan) Mullen,” Wiggins said. “I just wanted to see what they had to offer, and I try to do things the right way.”
It was indeed a loyal gesture toward Grantham, who was Wiggins’ defensive coordinator at Georgia and Louisville before taking the job in Starkville after last season.
Tennessee, however, has proven itself on another level than many other programs, with three straight bowl wins and back-to-back Top 25 seasons.
Wiggins looks like the final piece of what should be a much-improved secondary under first year defensive backs coach Charlton Warren.
Wiggins cited his relationship with Warren and defensive coordinator Bob Shoop as reasons he’s sticking with Tennessee.
“Just sitting down and talking to them, I like the plan they have for the defense and the players they have,” Wiggins said. “In that scheme, they’re looking at me as veteran who can come on and be a solid corner.
“I can tell Coach Warren wants to coach me up and take me to the next level, and then Coach Shoop was at Vanderbilt when I was at Georgia, so he got to see me get a Pick-6 against a team he coached,” Wiggins said. “This is a good situation for me and a good platform.”
Wiggins is also friends with several of the players on the Tennessee football team who are from Georgia, as he was a star at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone.
“I grew up around the Barry brothers, and I’ve been talking to all of the guys,” Wiggins said. “I know Nigel Warrior, Justin (Martin), (Todd) Kelley and (Emmanuel) Moseley … there are a lot of Georgia boys on the team, so it’s all good.”
Martin was originally from the Atlanta area before finishing his high school at Overton in Nashville.