HS football story of the week

September 24, 2008 2:50:20 PM PDT
For Southern High School senior Reese Wiggins, life is about more than just football.

Rated as a three-star wide receiver by rivals.com, Wiggins obviously has the skills needed to compete at the next level. But, as his 3.6 GPA suggests, he also has the brains.

"My parents have always told me to put my schoolwork first," Wiggins said. "Because sooner or later, I'm going to have to get a real job."

Wiggins has received an offer to play at East Carolina University, and said he is strongly considering the move to Greenville.

"I love everything about it there," said Wiggins, who was invited visit campus and attend the ECU-West Virginia game on Sept. 6. "They've got what I'm looking for: the coaching style, the atmosphere."

The offer from ECU is the culmination of endless hard work, Wiggins said.

"It makes me feel like all my hard work is finally paying off," Wiggins said. "My parents said always stay focused and that's what I've tried to do."

Wiggins came into high school as a quarterback, but when a shortage of receivers at Southern opened up some spots in his sophomore year, he stepped in and worked with coaches to learn the new position. The transition was tough, he said, but he feels like it has really paid off.

Wiggins stands at 5-foot and 11-inches, weighs in at 181 pounds and has been clocked running a 40-yard-dash in 4.66 seconds. He said he can't compare himself to an NFL receiver by name, but said his style is one that is often seen in higher levels of football.

"I would say I'm a big play receiver. I have the ability to catch a short pass and take it the distance," Wiggins said.

The young 2008 season has been off to a slow start offensively for the Spartans, said head coach Adrian Jones. The team lost its first two games before beating previously undefeated Wake Forest-Rolesville in overtime on Sept. 4.

"Offensively, we've been in a rut, but we could break out at anytime," Jones said. "We've been using Reese on special teams as well as in our receiving core. He's really contributed a lot."

Wiggins has only a little over 100 yards receiving through the team's first three games, but has returned two kicks for touchdowns.

Off the field, Wiggins said he volunteers in the community, giving back his time to help others.

"He is just a really great kid," Jones said. "He obviously cares about his academics and he cares about others too."

It's qualities like this that truly make Reese Wiggins a proven commodity.


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