Following a few days of rumors the University of Georgia confirmed this afternoon that rising sophomore cornerback Shaquille Wiggins will be transferring. Coach Richt issued a statement that Wiggins believes a "fresh start" is "in his best interest."
Wiggins showed good effort at times in significant time as a freshman, starting 8 games, intercepting 2 passes and returning 1 for a touchdown. At other times, however, he looked overwhelmed and frustrated. And it's always a little surprising when a returning starter at a major college program decides that transferring is in his best interest.
However it is maybe a little less surprising when that starter was fighting of a freshman walk on for his starting spot at the conclusion of spring practice. In addition to the emergent Aaron Davis, converted tailback J.J. Green looked good at corner. That's to say nothing of Reggie Wilkerson, who had worked his way into the rotation last year before going down with an ACL tear, or veteran starter Damian Swann. Or juniors Devin Bowman and Sheldon Dawson, or Wiggins' fellow class of 2013 signee Brendan Langley.
I don't know the specifics behind Wiggins' departure, but when players leave around this time of year it's usually because either a) they did something the coaches didn't like or b) refused to do things the coaching staff expects. My guess with Wiggins is that it was the latter, and this is the sort of attrition you expect with a new defensive staff taking over a unit that got carpet bombed on the regular in 2013. I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over it. The most interesting part of the story for me is whether Todd Grantham and Louisville will make room for him. Until later...